Skip to main content

Improving Google Transit

I love Google Transit - I think it is one of the best Google features since the original Google Maps - and I'm fortunate to be in a city that has handed their data over to Google (I sympathize with the folks that aren't so lucky). Google Transit does have one major flaw, however - it doesn't have the option of bike + transit combos.

(from flickr user karenwithak)

Say I want to go someplace that is farther away than I'd like to bike for the full trip, but using transit requires multiple transfers to get to my destination. A good example for me would be if I wanted to go from school to work. The trip is about 9.5 miles by bike.


When I enter the details, Google gives me three options for getting there via transit, but none of them are particularly appealing. The quickest option (1 hour and 9 minutes) requires me to take a bus, then a light rail, then another bus. That's a three seat ride with two transfers, enough to make even the most dedicated transit rider cringe.

But if I had my bike... I could easily ride to the light rail, take my bike on the train downtown, and then ride the rest of the way to the office. The total travel time would be less than if I exclusively used transit, but would be less exhausting than biking the whole way.

Now, Google Transit technically gives me enough information to figure this out on my own. If I really wanted to exercise this option, I could just ignore the bus rides that I don't want to take - but it would be nice to have the bike + transit combo given explicitly, if nothing more than for the sake of convenience. Plus, it's always nice to know all of your options.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Mixing Sports and Business

In the last two days I've devoured every article in the Washington Post about the Nationals painful and epic defeat on Friday night in the NLDS. It was a tough way to see the season end, there's no doubt about that.

(from wallyg on Flickr)
These articles make it clear that there are a lot of people emotionally invested in professional sports. I think they sometimes they forget that, ultimately, Major League Baseball is big business. Each team is a major corporation and the league itself is an organization governed by a bunch of executives. The television networks that show the games are under contract with the team owners and the games aren't usually available to those without cable.

This is why it can be so hard to be a fan in this game. It's the multi-millionaire and billionaire owners that call most of the shots. They get to decide how much they're willing to spend on players. They get to decide who to hire as the CEO of the company. They get to decide how much t…