HART continues to set the transit agency bar higher as a trendsetting innovator by being the first in Florida to make real-time trip updates available on Google Maps starting October 10.
Google Maps allows riders to quickly and accurately plan transit trips from one location to another. That makes public transportation more user-friendly for new riders and gives seasoned, experienced riders a tool to help them get to their destinations in new, more efficient ways. Trip updates represent any changes in the timetables for predicted arrivals for stops along the route.
HART is the first transit agency in Florida to publish real-time trip updates via Google Maps, which is available on desktop and mobile devices in more than 40 different languages and in a format compatible with screen readers for the visually impaired. Trip updates can also provide for more complex scenarios where trips are canceled, added to the schedule, or even re-routed.
Instead of sorting through timetables, riders simply enter the date and their desired time of arrival or departure. The trip planner automatically maps available routes and displays the travel time and number of transfers for each option, so riders can pick their preferred route.
Google Maps also includes transfers between different transit agencies in overlapping service areas for those who have made their schedule information available to Google. Detailed information on how to get to or from a transit station on foot is shown for transit results along with affording users the option to view aerial imagery, street level images via Street View, and additional local information such as business reviews.
HART continues to demonstrate building awareness of public transit in Florida through our efforts of exposing greater transit information to get riders to where they need to go.
HART’s newest innovation comes hot on the heels of its high-tech OneBusAway Tampa smart phone app, which provides instant access to real-time bus arrival information to answer the question “Where is my bus?”
Google Maps, on the other hand, is a highly efficient trip planning solution that solves the challenge of “What is the quickest way to get where I want to go using the public transit system?” The two applications work hand-in-hand to save riders valuable time and make their travel easier and more enjoyable.