Google Maps just keeps getting more powerful and more comprehensive. The latest enhancement to the tool is live transit information, which will be incredibly helpful to the masses of people who rely on public transportation to get around.
Google says that it now offers information for 100 million miles of daily public transit in 800 cities spread across 25 countries; that data includes everything from fares to departure times to estimated travel times.
There are more specific additions, too, including live departure times for seven lines of the subway in New York City and buses and trams in Salt Lake City as well as live service alerts for the Metrorail in Washington, D.C.
The Google Maps update is available for Android and iOS devices.
A tramway in Tallinn, Estonia in 1996 Credit:Flickr user Felix O
Public transportation ridership may have increased in 2012, but major transit agencies across the nation have picked an odd way to celebrate. On July 1, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which serves the Philadelphia region, will increase fares. Meanwhile, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will, for the fourth time in five years, up its prices this weekend.
Seven time zones to the east, the Estonian capital of Tallinn has taken the opposite approach: In January, it entirely scrapped fares for city residents, although they must initially purchase a smart card. Those who live outside the city still have to pay fares. According to Reuters, the city decided a carrot in the form of free rides is the best way to deal with traffic congestion by luring drivers onto buses and trams. (A bit of stick has been applied, too, as cars are now barred from some roads and parking fees have increased.) The city government purchased 70 new buses and 15 new trams to meet the anticipated surge in demand. Three-quarters of Tallinn residents support the plan. Continue reading