Google Transit Trip Planner Expanding to Toronto’s TTC?
From Angie : “Google wants the TTC’s station, stop, schedule and route data to create a trip planner. Torontonians would be able to input a start and end point, and Google would provide the shortest or fastest routes via the TTC. They’re already piloting this program with Portland Transit.”
Besides the advantages of leaving the housing the information and usability to Google, working with Google for an online Toronto Transit Planner could save the city quite a bit of money writes the Metronews.ca:
“The TTC had looked into doing its own at a cost of about $2 million. There are no cost estimates yet for partnering with Google, and no time frame for starting the project.
“It’s a work in progress,” said Alice Smith, the TTC’s acting chief marketing officer. “We support trip planning for our customers. We just have to figure out the best way to get there.”
“It looks to me like the costs are minimal,” he said. “I think we should bring it about rather than wait for the staff to develop all of their systems, because it can happen very quickly.”
Expansion into major cities with an existing popular Public Transportation system is a logical step for Google in its effort to not only market its technology, but also take an environmental stand against pollution and single passenger cars. During their trip to Brazil earlier in the year Sergey Brin and Larry Page also expressed an interest in the Chevrolet Flex Power Ethanol Alcol engines, which have become quite popular in the South American country.
Will the future bring an era of Google inspired transportation awareness which may someday result in Google’s dream of Mars Tourism? Perhaps.
In the near future however, let’s hope that the Google Transit Planner achievements and partnerships lead to the public taking advantage of the public transportation systems right outside of their doorsteps in other mobile cities such as Atlanta, New York, Baltimore/DC and Seattle.
Heck, the less driving people do during their commute the more time they have to read the paper or use Google Mobile offerings such as Local Search or Google Mobile News.