A round-up of reactions to Google’s real-time info

As announced yesterday, Google Maps has added real-time transit updates for six systems. Here’s a round-up of local stories:

The Boston Globe on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
“The announcement is a clear sign of the T’s dramatic shift in its approach to the tech community since 2008, when the MBTA guarded data so carefully that it sued a group of MIT undergraduates who uncovered flaws in the CharlieCard automated fare system, to keep them from presenting their findings at a conference. And the T was nowhere to be found when Google first joined with transit agencies more than five years ago to incorporate schedules and station locations into Google Maps…’For the T, it’s a little bit of a coming of age,’ [general manager Richard] Davey said.”

The Oregonian on TriMet (OR)
“Google and TriMet have been working together since 2005, jointly developing a standard way for presenting bus and rail departures on the Internet. Google Maps already incorporated TriMet routes and scheduled arrival times. As every transit rider knows, though, scheduled arrivals bear an uncertain resemblance to actual arrivals. The new maps include live information — transmitted from busses, MAX trains and streetcars — accessible on computers and smartphones running Google’s Android mobile operating system….But Google Maps is widely used, and will be especially helpful to out-of-towners who may not know which transit app is best in Portland, said Bibiana McHugh, a TriMet technology manager. ‘Options and choices for our customers are good,’ she said.”

NBC Bay Area on Bay Area Rapid Transit (CA)
“Available only for the San Francisco Bay Area and a scant three other U.S. cities, once again it’s good to be the “Home of Google.” Not only can you check out routes, map your journey point-to-point and determine when you should leave for the stop, you now also know when to STAY and finish that bowl of oatmeal or brush your teeth. (Please brush your teeth!)”

SignOnSanDiego.com on Metropolitan Transit System (CA)
“Public transit riders in San Diego have another tool to make their commute a bit easier: Google is partnering with the Metropolitan Transit Service to provide real-time bus information right on Google Maps — from your desktop, laptop or any smartphone… ‘While Google is great for smartphones,’ said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. ‘A large part of our ridership has cellphones. This bridges the gap.’” [Note that MTS provides real-time info via text message.]

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