How Google Maps Is Making Public Transit Easier

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Taking public transportation is a money saving alternative to high gas prices and it's good for the environment. The problem is that understanding bus schedules and planning trips can be a challenge. Although Google Maps makes it easier to find out how to get to where you want to go by using the public transit search option, it doesn't give you much flexibility to customize your route.

For example, if I wanted to take a bus from my neighborhood, it would only show me the most direct route, which may not be the best route for me. Too often I have taken the route Google suggested and later found out that there was another bus stop along the way that would have worked out better. Now, however, that has changed.

In the newest version of Google Maps, public transit users can get more information and have the ability to tailor the route to their needs. Instead of just giving the quickest option, Google will show you other stops and additional ways to get to where you are going.

How it works is that users select the method of transportation they prefer, bus, subway or whatever, and then enter their destination. Google will then give them a list of possible routes, along with the number of transfers, walking distances and overall travel time. Although the new routing process is only available in 475 cities worldwide, if it isn't available in your area, it probably will be soon.

In addition to this change in usability, the Google Play app has been improved to offer perks to Android users. Their version of Google Maps will also include starred location and quick links to businesses in the area.

The new version also displays higher definition maps that are easier to read, faster to load and that offer better scaling options. If you have an Android device, be sure to upgrade to the new look.

Have you used Google Maps to find public transit routes? Do you think this is a great improvement? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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