Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Agency on Google Transit

In a move that I never thought I'd see, the one bus stop in my old home town is now on Google Transit. Victor Valley Transit Authority is now available on Google Transit, including all county routes! Also, Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority, which provides service in Crestline, Arrowhead and Big Bear, and both Barstow and Needles Transit are available as well. The only San Bernardino County agency remaining unavailable on Google Transit is the Morongo Basin Transit Authority, which provides service in Twentynine Palms and surrounding areas.

One of the chronic problems with rural transit is its infrequent nature, and the rather poor availability of information on routes and schedules. With any luck, this sort of schedule accessibility will help customers in transit-poor regions accomplish their daily travels car-free.

There's an important caveat to the VVTA data on Google Transit: VVTA runs a significant number of deviated routes, which operate by reservation. Information on other possible destinations off of deviated routes is not available on Google Transit. For example, there is only one scheduled run to Wrightwood daily. However, every single trip on the 21 will call there by advanced reservation, and Google Transit is unable to plan these trips. (If you're a Tri-Community resident and you need to utilize this service, call 877-545-8000 for reservations.) All in all, though, this is a significant improvement to informing riders about a system that, even today, has no system map or transfer information in their brochures.

No comments: