Transit to help residents of Portland, Oregon plan local trips on the TriMet public transit system. The Transit app is essentially a Google Maps mashup that lets users plan local trips and navigate public transportation systems. Google Transit now covers 15 cities in the US, including Seattle, San Diego, and Dallas, and all of Japan.In December 2005 Google announced a Labs project called
This morning Bloomberg is reporting that Google is now working with the grand daddy of all transportation systems New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Along with the New Jersey Transit, which is also working with Google, the New York/New Jersey metro area transit systems transport 9 million people each day.
According to Bloomberg, the Transit service provides Google with a lucrative venue for selling ads. New York, being the nations largest transit system, would be a gold mine for the search giant.
"U.S. companies spent about $922 million last year to place ads alongside local searches and maps, according to Kelsey Group Inc., a market research firm in Princeton, New Jersey. That will almost triple to $2.61 billion by 2011, the researcher says. Google probably got about $500 million in sales last year from local ads, or about 8 percent of its U.S. revenue of $6 billion, said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence in San Francisco."
While Google declined to confirm that it was negotiating with the MTA and NJT, both transit authorities confirmed to Bloomberg that they were working with Google in some capacity. If Google Transit expands to New York City and New Jersey it would certainly be the most complicated endeavor for the service. As Bloomberg notes, the MTA's 468 subway stations is just 35 fewer than the total number of all other subway stations in the United States, and New Jersey operates the largest statewide transit program in the country.
Edit: As commenters to this post point out, while you're waiting for Google's MTA/NJT transit maps, check out HopStop, which covers a number of major US metros including New York, and this NYC transit map built on top of Google Maps.