In its bid to map everything in the world — this sounds portentous but it’s no more a joke than Google wanting to digitize the world’s 30-million-plus books — Google has added transit information for the entire New York metropolitan region.
Google Transit now includes maps and information on New York’s subway, commuter rail, bus and ferry services from the Metropolitan Transit Agency, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Transit, and the City of New York, serving the more than 20 million people who visit or live in and around New York.
Wrote Chris Harrelson, tech lead and creator of Google Transit, in a blog post:
Users need only go to Google Maps and enter directions. If you happen to be traveling to or within one of the 170 cities Google covers, you’ll see an option for taking public transit, where you can view upcoming departures and a map of the bus, train or ferry route.
Step-by-step instructions in text are included for routes taken by foot, train or bus. There are travel times and transfers for each trip leg, too.
Apparently, this upgrade to the Google Transit on Google Maps was significant. Google co-founder Sergey Brin joined the launch event Sept. 23 at Grand Central Terminal in New York before rollerblading over to 59th Street to chat about the new T-Mobile G1 phone.
Transit info, G1, transit info, G1. The disparity in importance seems sublime at the outset, but when you get right down to the nuts and bolts, the Transit application and G1 are means to the same end: helping users find what they want online.
The cool intersection is that I imagine in the not-too-distant future, users will be accessing transit information from their Android OS-based G1s, or some other smart phone.
Indeed, Google has added a Transit for Mobile application, covering 50 cities worldwide.