2008-09-26 / Community

'Google Transit' Available In NYC

Governor David A. Paterson Governor David A. Paterson Governor David A. Paterson joined Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger, MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander, Port Authority of NY and NJ Executive Director Christopher O. Ward, New York City Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler, and Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to announce the launch of Google Transit in New York.

Google Transit, a feature of the Google Maps online mapping service, provides point-to-point public transit trip planning that will now include transit services throughout the MTA service territory including: New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bus, Long Island Bus and Staten Island Railway, as well as other regional connecting services participating in the initiative, such as New Jersey Transit, the Port Authority's AirTrain and Staten Island Ferry. For the first time, travelers can access streamlined, regional trip-planning based on up-to-date schedule data across the subway, bus and rail systems. The application even includes walking directions for the beginning or end of the trip.

"Google Maps for Transit is a truly innovative marriage of information and infrastructure. It is a perfect example of how the public and private sectors can partner together to benefit us all - and it didn't cost New York taxpayers a penny," said Governor Paterson. "I applaud my colleagues at the MTA and Port Authority for making this a priority, and our friends at Google for continuing to make the world an easier place to navigate."

MTA Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger said: "At a time when the MTA is facing mounting fiscal challenges, we are thrilled to be able to offer this service to our customers at no cost to taxpayers. Google Transit will encourage ridership and underscores the importance of the MTA to the region's economy and environment."

MTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Elliot G. Sander said: "The MTA is delighted to partner with Google to provide our customers with this cutting-edge tool for getting around our 5,000 square-mile territory. Customer service is a top priority, and this is just the latest example of how the MTA is pursuing innovative ideas to serve our riders."

Port Authority of NY/NJ Executive Director Christopher O. Ward said: "Our challenge at the Port Authority is to move people faster and more efficiently. Google's new technology will help us meet that challenge by giving travelers better information so they can move from JFK to any point in the city as seamlessly as possible."

New York City Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler said: "We are excited to welcome Google Maps for Transit to New York City. One of the keys to increasing mass transit usage is making it easier for people to understand how to use the system.

This partnership between Google and the MTA does exactly that. It harnesses the power of Google's innovative search technologies to allow residents and visitors to more easily understand how mass transit will get them to where they need to go."

John Hanke, Director of Google Maps & Earth, said: "We are extremely pleased to join forces with the MTA to provide information about their vast transit system in Google Maps.

By being able to access station and schedule data for the largest public transit system in the United States via Google Maps, users are exposed to the availability and convenience of public transportation and are better equipped to take advantage of all that the New York metropolitan region has to offer." The program provides users with more valuable trip information; generates useful local information from Google Maps; and creates opportunities for MTA to reach out to car commuters who may not realize the availability, cost-effectiveness and convenience of public transit.

Key benefits of Google Transit trip planner include:

Point-to-point trip planning using the familiar Google Maps format.

In-depth information about a destination: subway, train or bus stops serving the destination; next scheduled departures from the station or stop.

• search of nearby businesses, restaurants,

attractions, and amenities

(e.g. "delicatessens near City

Hall Station"); Unique, user-friendly features: • 360-degree street-level views of the

destination with Google Maps Street View, which can be rotated

by the user with their computer

mouse; • "My Location" feature triangulates the user's approximate cell-phone position on Google Maps for mobile and indicates distance from the destination;

• Still photo entries for popular destinations;

• Icons for Wikipedia entries for

places of interest at stations; • Trip planning also accessible via

many portable devices.

Helpful links:

A trip plan with friends via email; A link on the Google Transit page will take visitors back to www.mta.info to access additional MTA information each time MTA data is shown on Google Maps.

At no cost to the MTA, Google and the MTA collaborated on the development of Google Transit for the New York region, joining other major public transit providers who had launched similar services with Google, such as Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), NJ Transit, San Francisco (BART), Atlanta (MARTA), and internationally, Moscow and Tokyo.

The project involved consolidating and reworking disparate MTA schedule and station location data into a format that would enable the service for the New York region. This information will be made available to other developers to enable development of new customer-focused services in the future. Google Transit complements existing MTA trip planning services, including Trip Planner and Trips 123, by providing another way for riders to discover the wealth of services that the MTA offers.

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