Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Google Transit

I was most exceedingly happy to hear about this yesterday. I am, after all, something of a Google fan.

My happiness, however, turned to ecstatic delight when I realised that Google Transit is far, far better than the Metlink website. A thorn in my side, I find the journey planner on Metlink's website silly - it requires that one have the correct street number if it's to find a bus stop, for crying out loud, rather than simply pick up up stops in the area of the one requested. in a move of quite stunningly bad programming, it's more likely to try match street numbers than street names, leading to a great deal of gritted-teeth frustration...

Honestly, one would think the search and databasing advances of the last x years have never happened, with the required follow-up of 'y'?

Transit, however, has Google cleverness built in. How absolutely tech-tasty, and a godsend for those of us stuck with crappy transport information systems. Now, of course, all we need is to be able to check bus times - my bus, for example, is 5-15 minutes late almost every day, but, well, I can't exactly take it for granted, can I? Sod's law always applies, and I'd rather wait for 10 minutes before hand than half an hour afterwards...

Aah, I miss TFL sometimes. OK, so it didn't always get the shortest route right, but it did keep track of what was running late. Then again, I've heard that Wellington buses are beginning to have GPS trackers installed which should help the problem, although then again, possibly not - after all, it's not just the data itself, but what's done with it, that makes or breaks a system (see above paragraphs).

So yes - I'll be waiting (inevitably, given the buses here) to see what happens, but in the meantime I'm glad that I can at least find bus routes without having to try magically figure out which street number will give me a result...