Google Transit still "very close"
WMATA CEO Richard Sarles said a launch of trip planning on Google Maps is "very close," but declined to give a specific timeline. This project has frustratingly remained "very close" for more than a year.
Integrating with Google Maps will provide big benefits to Metro. Many people already have Google Maps on iPhones and Android phones, and visitors to DC or infrequent riders use it to navigate. Putting bus stops on the maps and providing trip planning right from that interface will make riding transit easier and advertise its existence to many wouldn't otherwise know about options or find them too daunting.
I know that technological projects sometimes take longer than expected and problems can crop up. However, WMATA management has continuously remained very tight-lipped about their lack of progress, and did not respond to a request yesterday.
It certainly seems as though this is simply not getting much attention at all. If it is, and there are just unforeseen issues, or if Google is the one being difficult, it would certainly behoove WMATA to explain these facts.
In response to a question from Councilmember Tommy Wells at the oversight hearing this morning, Sarles noted that Metro routes and schedules do appear on Microsoft's Bing. What's so much harder about getting on Google?
A comment from Chris Zimmerman last July continues to seem most prescient. He said this project seemed to be "asymptotically approaching" completion. So far, that's still as true now as it was then.
Disclosure: I used to work for Google, but had no involvement with Google Maps. I no longer own any Google stock and have no other financial interest in Google.
Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!
- Where will DC's next 200,000 residents go? The mayoral candidates weigh in
- Comparing Metrobus and Metrorail farebox recovery is apples and oranges
- Topic of the week: Walking in unexpected places
- Fun on Friday: Play the Mini Metro game
- The Purple Line gets a boost from President Obama's budget
- Metro FAQ: Why does Metro run express trains in one direction during single-tracking?
- A bus lane for 16th Street? Which mayoral candidates agree?