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Google Maps now includes routes, schedules for all public transportation authorities in Mass.

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  August 14, 2013 05:56 PM

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Google Maps now includes routes and schedules for all of the public transportation authorities in Massachusetts, including the MBTA and 15 regional transit authorities, state officials say.

The move will allow Bay State travelers to use just one tool – the popular Google Maps software – to find directions that can guide them from buses and trains on one public transit system to another with detailed walking directions for areas not served by the systems.

For example, an individual can now use Google Maps online or the Google Maps mobile app for Android or iPhone to plan a trip from the Boston Common to Worcester State University, state officials said.

Previously, such a task would have required searching for routes and schedules across multiple websites.

“Having access to transit routes and schedules through this universally accessible tool enhances everyone’s ability to plan travel throughout the Commonwealth whether it’s for commuting to and from work or for leisure,” said a statement from state transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey.

“This initiative meets our core mission to serve our customers and supports MassDOT’s mode shift goal to triple the levels of bicycling, walking and transit users throughout the Commonwealth by 2030,” he added.

Officials from the state transportation department’s MassRIDES Statewide Travel Options Program, in partnership with Bridgewater State University, helped officials at each of the various transportation authorities in the state to compile the data needed to include within Google Maps.

That partnership includes an ongoing effort to maintain accurate routes, schedules and other information for the transportation services.

And, officials involved in the collaboration are now working with a number of private inter-city bus companies to make their routes and schedules available through Google Maps.

The goal of the partnership is to make all transportation services in Massachusetts available through Google Maps.

“It’s more of a one-stop-shopping option to plan your trip,” said a statement from T general manager Beverly Scott. “Many of the entities simply do not have the bandwidth to compile and produce the data required for their system to be available through Google Maps. MassDOT’s effort has made this possible.”

State officials said the resource will be particularly helpful for workforce development agencies and for those looking for jobs.

Along with the MBTA, the 15 regional transit authorities are:Metrowest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA), Cape Ann Transit Authority (CATA), Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA), Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA), Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART), Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA),Brockton Area Transit Authority (BAT), Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA), Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA), Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA), Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA), Nantucket Regional Transit Authority (NRTA), Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA), Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA), and Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA).

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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