Yet another reason to get on the bus in Pittsburgh: today’s Post-Gazette reports that Burghers can now search for Port Authority bus routes and schedules via Google Transit, a new service being offered in only six cities.
Port Authority has offered a trip planner on their website for some time, but Google’s service combines scheduling with a map of your route, and in the future could include information such as money saved versus driving and parking, as well as total cost of fare for your trip.
The service is in its beginning stages, and Google is asking for feedback from users to help improve results. Play around with it and let them know what you’d like to see.
I saw this in the paper and was hoping someone would mention it. Thanks Justine!
Here's an example of how it works: Say you're at a bar, and say it's a bar full of hipsters. You and your new hipster friends want to get a primanti's sammich, but none of yinz want to drive. Well, you can <a href="http://www.google.com/transit?f=q&hl=en&time=&date=&ttype=&q=4104+Penn+Ave+pittsburgh+to+46+18th+Street+pittsburgh+2:00am+9/30/06&ie=UTF8&z=14&om=1" rel="nofollow">grab a bus and roll right on down to the strip at 2 a.m., and the cool thing is, you'll know ahead of time when that bus is coming, which bus to jump, and even how long the trip's gonna take.
Will wonders never cease? No, they won't. And apparently, all future wonders are going to come from google. I think that's a good thing… Regardless, the new google/PAT mashup is awesome.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that in my excitement and haste I seem to have completely made up the part about Google someday showing us money saved when taking the bus versus driving/parking.
The Portland TriMet transit planner, which has been in place the longest, provides a comparison between total bus fare and driving, but warns that the information does not take into account cost of tolls or parking. It stands to reason that an expansion of features in the Pittsburgh area would work in a similar fashion.
I particularly like the walking directions for getting to and from the bus stop at each end.
Thanks for posting this!