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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Google Maps Show Live Updates For Salt Lake-Area Public Transportation

Google has just launched a service that makes it easier to use public transportation to get around the Salt Lake metro area (which extends from Ogden down past Provo). The service not only suggests routes and identifies stops, it also shows real-time information on schedules and delays.

Google has launched the new service in New York City, Washington, D.C., and the Salt Lake area. It is a slick service that should help residents and tourists alike.

I tested it today and I'm impressed. Go to maps.google.com and click on Get Directions. Type in your starting address and your destination address and click the “get directions” button. A map will load showing the recommended route using public transportation. If options are available, they will also be shown.

Click on one of the marked stops and a window will open showing information about that stop. The service defaults to “leave now” but also allows you to choose a later departure time. If you choose a later time, the service will show when you need to be at the stop, along with information about any delays along the route.

Google has long put information about bus routes and stops on its maps. This new service is an expansion, adding real-time schedule and delay information.

The Utah Transit Authority has been aggressive about using technology to make public transportation more convenient and usable. Apparently, the Salt Lake area was chosen for the service because schedule information was already available digitally and could be easily incorporated into the system.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article with more information about the service.

- Dave Webb

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