Rail

Amtrak partners with Google Transit

Posted on August 11, 2009

Travelers may now use Google Transit — Google’s public transportation trip planning function — to plan their journeys on Amtrak as five of the railroad’s routes were recently added to the Google Transit system.

"Google Transit offers Amtrak’s passengers a valuable travel planning tool while introducing rail travel to a whole new audience" said Matt Hardison, Amtrak’s chief of sales distribution and customer service.

Google Transit provides travelers public transportation connections when planning a trip in more than 400 cities. Through the Trip Planner, users receive step-by-step transit directions, details on transit stations in their area and schedules. By adding Amtrak to the mix, travelers now have expanded transportation options.

Plans call for all Amtrak routes across the country to eventually be available through Google Transit. The first five routes now available include:

* Empire Service (New York - Albany - Buffalo - Niagara Falls)
* Ethan Allen Express (New York - Albany - Rutland)
* Hiawatha Service (Chicago - Milwaukee)
* Pacific Surfliner (San Diego - Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - San Luis Obispo)
* San Joaquin (Oakland - Sacramento - Fresno - Bakersfield)

When queried, the Google Transit Trip Planner provides users with up to three different transit- and rail-based options to get to their destination. Included is the amount of time each option will take, the number and mode of transfers and walking directions from the train station to the destination.

If Amtrak is an option, a link to Amtrak.com will appear so users may make a train reservation. Street view imagery provides travelers with ground-level images of their route, in addition to a map. Query results also provide users information for transferring from Amtrak to the local transit system.

The Google Transit Trip Planner also provides users who request driving directions a detailed route which includes travel on Amtrak, if appropriate. Alongside the driving directions is a link offering public transportation as an alternative. In this way, travelers who may not have previously considered public transportation can investigate Amtrak as an option.

Google Transit is also accessible through any Java-enabled hand-held device, putting Amtrak schedules at users’ fingertips. Queries made on hand-held devices also include a link to Amtrak.com, allowing users to make a reservation. Further, the Trip Planner supports 40-plus languages and provides access for the visually impaired through an output that is compatible with screen readers. A tutorial of Google Transit is available at http://maps.google.com/help/maps/transit/.

In addition, Amtrak continues to use the funds it received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve the service it provides. That includes using $400,000 of ARRA funds to automate the process of compiling electronic Amtrak schedules that can be shared with Google Transit.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

San Diego debuts restored trolley for Silver Line

The 68-year old streetcar was acquired as part of a trade with United Transportation Corporation (UTC)/Rail Air Sources (RAS) in exchange for two Siemens U-2 light rail vehicles that were phased out of the MTS fleet.

34 properties purchased for $70M along Honolulu rail transit route

HART's property acquisitions range in price from $22,304 to about $6 million. In June, HART said that it has to acquire 213 properties for the project, and that it had an acquisition budget of $222 million.

Alstom opens new Brazilian Citadis production line

The new production facility will serve the Brazilian market and, in a near future, the Latin America region where a number of new tramway projects are emerging. When fully operational, the facility will employ around 150 people.

FRA ramps up campaign to address nationwide grade crossing safety

The first phase of the effort calls upon local law enforcement agencies to show a greater presence at grade crossings, issue citations to drivers that violate rules of the road at crossings and consider rapid implementation of best practices for grade crossing safety.

S.C. city seeking elevated transit line bids

The first phase of the plan would construct a four-mile section elevated guideway above a section of abandoned railroad tracks. The first section of the elevated railway could connect Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research campus with downtown Greenville.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close