Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ): “Map out bus trip on Google Transit”

In January, Trillium client Mountain Line in Flagstaff became the first transit agency in Arizona in Google Transit.

Today, Mountain Line staff forwarded me an article from the Arizona Daily Sun about the trip planner.  It’s great to see transit agencies take advantage of Google Transit as a publicity opportunity, and Mountain Line is doing a terrific job.

naiptaAmericans are fascinated by technology, and everything “green” is a major issue these days.  Realizing that opportunity, Mountain Line is making Google Transit a major theme in their earth day marketing & publicity.

They’re doing something clever to lure prospective riders to experience how easy it is to plan trips with Google Transit — holding a raffle for a new Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Notebook.  People are directed to the Mountain Line website to enter, where they are greeted by a prominent trip planner form.  Very nice.

Half the battle to recruit more transit riders is to get prospective riders to look at schedules and maps to see if transit can work for them.  This takes time and effort with conventional schedules, but Google Transit plans trips in 15 seconds.  Some people even describe using it as “fun.”

Anecdotally, after Google Transit launched for Humboldt County, I heard of people planning a lot of potential trips just so they could get a feel for where transit could take them.  These people, now aware of transit, are much more likely to think of it for a potential trip, or turn their friends onto transit and help them plan trips.

I am looking forward to seeing how Mountain Line’s Earth Day campaign and contest goes and what impact it has.