Google Maps has added a new feature: search transit directions by types of transit and time spent outside. Want to take the light rail and not the bus? Willing to take a longer route if it means fewer transfers and time spent outside in the cold? Google will now oblige.
More data equals more choices and for Google to have taken the time to index all the more types of public transit is a real service to transit riders. Expect more details in a future announcement from the company, but check out the screenshot below. The new feature is live now.
Google Transit launched just over 3 years ago and became a layer overlay option in Google Maps for 50 cities around the world 2 years ago this Friday. 448 cities in total around the world make their information available for Google Transit to search.
Many of those cities include listings from multiple agencies, but for all Google's desire for other people to open their data, the company's prohibition of automated extraction of data from pages like the list of Transit cities makes it difficult to discern patterns in the service's global extraction. That's frustrating.