Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Google Transit Turns Rural

In a Northern California pilot project, Google Transit is adjusting its previous urban transit amenity for rural areas. According to a recent Reconnecting America posting by a staff member of one of the pilot counties, Google's main objective is to enable the public to plan transit trips involving multiple services. Coordination is key. "Continued identification of needs and issues, collaboration, and sharing effective strategies can help to improve transit trip planning globally."

The author, an accountant and staff to the regional planning body, points to benefits for human services clients.

Social service agencies, caregivers, and those providing aid to someone can now Google transit information for their clients. For the elderly who can no longer drive, Google transit information for bus stops and locations helps make it possible to maintain a sense of independence.

Google Transit's benefits are also noted for tourists who wish to arrive or park their cars during their stays.

The "last mile" and convenience issues remain unresolved. The goals are "the trip planner’s low maximum walking distance to transit stops, and a 48-hour window for available transit services."

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