Google Transit

January 16, 2006

I was browsing through the new goodies over at Google Labs today and saw something very promising: Google Transit. It uses the amazingly smooth Google Maps interface to help you plan a trip using public transportation. It only works for Portland, Oregon right now, but it is still in the lab. It tells you how far you have to walk to get to the transit station, how long the walk will take, how much the bus, train, etc. will cost, and how much you will save by taking transit instead of driving.

However, since the long anticipated light rail system between Raleigh and Durham will probably never happen now that the federal government has denied funding, I don’t know how useful this will be for me. Why do we need a rail system when there is plenty of money for a bigger highway? Maybe we should fix I–40 first.

I should also mention Google Reader while I’m at it. It is another Google Labs project which allows you to subscribe to RSS/Atom feeds of news sites, weblogs, mailing lists, etc. and read them all in one place. The interface needs a little work, I’d like them to make the subscriptions list a little smaller so it will fit on one screen while having the reading list open, but it’s in pretty good shape otherwise.