Let’s face it — SEPTA isn’t exactly quick on adapting new technologies.
It took a group of determined Web developers and some HTML scraping to make the delightfully useful iSEPTA iPhone application, SEPTA has repeatedly delayed the implementation of smart cards and many stations (*cough* Tioga *cough*) still do not sell tokens or make change.
But for all of its feet-dragging and delaying, the area’s transit system has finally accomplished its long-requested integration with one of the Web’s most used tools for travel planning.
SEPTA Watch is reporting that SEPTA will announce its transit schedules will be made available via Google Transit and Google Maps. Google Maps would previously disregard the option to take public transit. So if you were to, say, punch in a trip from 30th Street Station to Fishtown, it would tell you to stretch your legs and get walking as the Market-Frankford line travels along your route under your feet.
Google will now factor in SEPTA buses, subways and Regional Rails in its directions, making our fair city much more navigable for tourists and new residents. The new functionality translates to the “Maps” application the iPhone as well.
SEPTA had taken its sweet time handing over the data to Google, as the it acknowledged the lack of Google Transit support in an October 2008 survey on its Web site where availability on Google Transit was tied for the most requested new feature among regular riders.
Though maybe the reason for the delay was because the new feature on Google Maps easily makes SEPTA’s “Trip Planner” more obsolete that it already was. Google Maps carries the same functionality while displaying the data in well-designed map that most Internet users are already familiar with using.
As a SEPTA Watch reader points out, the partnership is not without its huccups. Google Maps mistakenly refers to trollies as “light rails.”
Also, in other news, the El is now referred to as “the love train.”
Knowledge is power!
Subscribe for free today and stay up to date with news and tips you need to grow your career and connect with our vibrant tech community.