Boston partners with Google Transit. Why the hold-up in DC?
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At a press conference on Thursday, MBTA officials announced a partnership with Google Transit, the mapping site that provides information on public transportation in hundreds of American cities. In major hubs such as New York, the site has been extraordinary popular, and for good reason – it helps users cut down on travel time, avoid delays, and sift through the clutter of the most complicated subway systems.
"This really makes a lot of information more accessible," Google Boston engineering director Steve Vinter said Thursday, according to the Boston Globe. "There are a lot of people like me who take the T to work but do not know much about the transit system outside of that." Google Transit will now provide data on boats, trains, and buses in Boston, as well as a complete look at the commuter rails which run out to other major towns and cities in Massachusetts.
"For locals and visitors alike, Google Transit makes it easier to search and discover public transportation options that get them into, around, and out of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Quincy, Somerville, and the surrounding areas – or to travel to and from other MBTA-linked cities like Brockton, Gloucester, Lowell, Providence, and Worcester," Google's Sean Carlson wrote in a blog post yesterday.
Why not DC?
Google Transit already provides planning information for most of the major hubs across the country, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago. One city is conspicuously missing: Washington, DC.
Carlson told the Monitor he couldn't comment on why DC did not participate in Google Transit (update below), but the topic has already received a good deal of attention from the Washington media.