|Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Partners with Google
By Lookout Staff
October 19, 2010 -- A map of your Big Blue Bus route is just a click away thanks to a partnership with Google Transit that makes it easier to plan your next trip on public transit.
The agency announced Friday is now providing its entire schedule and route information to the popular free Web-based service. All you have to do is enter a starting point, destination and preferred travel time, and Google Transit instantly gives step-by-step directions and travel times for the entire trip.
The free service then instantly displays a map of the route and lists door-to-door directions to the destination, including the walking or biking distance to and from the nearest transit stop. It also lists the transit service provider for each leg of the trip, estimated transfer times and total travel time.
“The integration of Big Blue Bus information with the Google Transit database will have an immediate benefit for riders living in or visiting the Los Angeles area, especially those who use more than one transit system to complete a trip,” said Stephanie Negriff, director of transit services for the Big Blue Bus.
“We know our regular passengers are really going to enjoy using it, and we’re also hoping this will be a good way to introduce the convenience of public transportation to drivers who haven’t considered it a viable option yet,” Negriff said.
Using information found in Google Maps, Google Transit gathers detailed information about a person's destination, including a business or attraction's hours of operation, address and reviews. It also includes 360-degree street-level photos of some destinations, making it easy for travelers to find their way once they arrive at a stop.
“One of the best features of Google Transit is its accessibility through any device with an Internet connection, including mobile phones, which can be really helpful if a person decides to change plans during a trip,” Negriff said.
Santa Monica's transit agency isn't the only one in the Los Angeles area using Google maps. Metro, the Los Angeles DASH system, Metrolink, Burbank Bus, Foothill Transit, Thousand Oaks Transit, Long Beach Transit and Amtrak also are using the system.
Google Transit can be used for all forms of transit travel, including rail lines, and can be accessed by going online to www.google.com/transit. The service is available in many other U.S. cities, as well as numerous international locations, and is offered in 40 different languages.
For questions about how to use Google Transit in the Big Blue Bus service area, please contact the Big Blue Bus Customer Service Department at 310-451-5444 or visit Blue: the Transit Store at 223 Broadway near the Third Street Promenade in downtown Santa Monica.
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