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Google Maps Transit Directions Move In RIght Direction

A major update is in the works for Google’s Maps relative to transit directions could be very exciting. As noted on Human Transit, key changes are being made to Google’s transit directions, including:

  • Offering alternatives based on frequency of transit lines
  • Mapping other transit lines in the area along one’s route
  • Accounting for lines whose paths duplicate service over a section of a trip

Imagine using Google Maps for transit to map your transit trip. Under the current version of Google Maps, you may routed to a bus line that includes a transfer to a bus line that only runs every 30 minutes, because it makes for the “shortest” trip since you’ll only have to wait a minute to catch it.  It could be you miss that bus by a minute due to an unexpected delay and suddenly find yourself waiting a half hour until the next bus arrives. In the updated Google Maps directions, you will be also be shown nearby transit lines that, while they may be a little further away from your transfer point, run more frequently and thus are more reliable and convenient in catching to reach your destination on time. In short, Google will show a more complete menu of transit possibilities, which will show more realistic and reliable routes and leave greater options for users.
To learn about other Google Maps direction updates, see the below video:

Video credit: Google Maps
For more insightful commentary on the coming Google Maps transit updates, be sure to check out Seattle Transit Blog and Human Transit.

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