Regional buses debut on Google Maps for Mass. commuting ‘one-stop shop’

Google Maps

Want to get from Boston to Pittsfield using public transportation?

Now, there’s an app for that.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced this week that all 15 of the state’s regional transit authorities — bus services located throughout the state — now provide bus schedule data to Google, allowing commuters to check on their smart phones to determine when the next bus is slated to arrive.

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In the past, commuters would need to search across multiple websites to use public transportation for travel between cities. With help from Bridgewater State University and the MassDOT’s MassRides Statewide Travel Options Program, all the bus schedule information for all the state’s public transportation offerings will be kept up-to-date on Google.

Now, “it’s more of a one-stop-shopping option to plan your trip,” Beverly A. Scott, general manager of the MBTA, said in a statement.

And in smaller cities such as Pittsfield or Northampton, where buses arrive infrequently and service ends in the early evening, having hand-held access to bus schedules on Google Maps can be essential to save time and commuting headaches.

The only problem? Google Maps doesn’t make RTA service any faster or reliable, so a trip from Boston Common to Worcester State University will still take more than three hours — a tall order for commuters who could make the trip by car in less than one hour.