June 8, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Barely two weeks ago, Google updated its Google Maps Android app to make it easier to locate nearby transit stations and get direction. Clearly that wasn’t an advanced enough to satisfy the always-busy folks in Mountain View.
Google Maps for Android and the desktop has been updated to include live schedules. So rather than look at the designated schedule and wait at the bus stop wondering if you’ll still be able to make it to work on time, Maps will tell you when your bus will actually stop by. Live Transit shows actual departure times and alerts users about possible detours or service disruptions that update when a bus or train will really arrive.
Live Departure Times and Alerts are made possible through partnerships with transit agencies in the cities in which they are available. It requires a device with Android 1.6 or higher and is currently available only in these cities:
- Boston, Mass., USA
- Madrid, Spain
- Portland, Ore., USA
- San Diego, Calif., USA
- San Francisco, Calif., USA
- Turin, Italy
Google plans to bring its Live departures feature to more cities, and I’d like throw my hometown of Miami, Florida into the consideration pool. Miami has one of the worst public transit systems that I’ve ever been unfortunate enough to ride and routinely has long delays on its bus routes. I used to leave my house 2 hours prior to my scheduled start time at work because buses almost never arrived at their scheduled time and I couldn’t risk being late. With Live transit updates, I would have received a realistic schedule and not wasted so much time standing in the sun or rain.