July 1, 2009

SEPTA launches schedule info on Google Transit

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has partnered with Google Transit to launch its system's schedule information.

Through the popular Google Maps Website at maps.google.com, riders can find schedules for regional rail lines, the Broad Street Subway, the Market-Frankford El, trolley routes and the Norristown High-Speed Line.

“Google Transit will help us introduce SEPTA and the convenience of using public transit when visiting all of the great historical, cultural and recreational destinations in the city and our region,” said SEPTA GM Joseph Casey.

Google Maps provides written directions and maps to stations; schedule information and trip directions; and the ability to search by landmarks, businesses and other locations. Google Maps will now automatically show SEPTA itineraries as an alternative to driving directions when available. It also provides a link to SEPTA’s Website, www.septa.org, where riders can find real-time schedules, customized planning tools and fare information.

SEPTA, which serves nearly one million riders per day in the Philadelphia area, is the third-largest regional public transportation agency in the nation to partner with Google Transit, behind only New York and Chicago. When the massive undertaking to geo-map SEPTA’s 15,000-plus bus stops is completed later this year, SEPTA will become the first transit agency in the U.S. operating all five major modes of transportation to have all of its data available on Google Transit.

SEPTA is also making this data available for individuals who want to create their own Web-based applications. It can be accessed at www.septa.org/developer.

In conjunction with the Google Transit launch, SEPTA is launching several of its own initiatives to improve online trip-planning, scheduling and access to transit alerts.

Starting soon, a new tool on SEPTA’s Website called “Next To Arrive” will provide riders with up-to-the-minute Regional Rail information. By simply selecting a starting location and destination, passengers will be shown the next four available trips and real-time arrival status. This adds to features already available at SEPTA’s Website, including “Bus Detours,” which provides real-time information on any disruptions or delays on all of the agency's bus routes.

SEPTA is also taking a major step to better communicate service disruptions to customers with its debut on Twitter later this week. SEPTA’s followers on Twitter will receive real-time transit alerts for all modes of transportation. These updates are also posted on the transit system's Website.

Along with the “One Day Independence Pass” and the “Family Independence Pass,” which offer economical and unlimited one-day travel, these initiatives represent major steps forward in SEPTA’s efforts to provide riders with added convenience in navigating the system. They also allow new riders, tourists and others who may be unfamiliar with SEPTA an easy and accessible way to get all the information they need to travel throughout the Philadelphia region.

 

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