Overnight transfers in Google Transit

I’m not sure, but I think that until recently Google Transit did not return trips with overnight, or very long, layovers.  The introduction of overnight layovers will be very useful for planning trips on inter-city services.

Here’s an example of a trip with an overnight layover in the SF Bay Area.

trip-1

Now, this trip caused some confusion on the Google Transit trip planner group.  Without the red highlighting I added, it’s not obvious that one should stay overnight to wait for the morning Caltrain.

Airline itineraries frequently arrive and depart on different days.  Here are some examples of how airline websites and travel aggregation sites have made it clearer when trips arrive and depart on different days.

Kayak.com:

kayak

United.com:

united

I like how Kayak spells out “This flight leaves Thursday and arrives on Friday,” but it is confusing that this messagedoes not appear with flight it concerns, flight 850 from Calgary to Heathrow.  I guess this association is made by how arrival and departure times are also highlighted in the same red as the “Thursday/Friday” message.

I think it would be clearer for the Kayak message to read “This itinerary leaves on Thursday and arrives on Friday.”  A similar message could be added in the Google Transit UI where it currently says “Showing Trip 1… Travel time: about 13 hours 20 minutes.”  I also like United’s way of highlighting individual travel legs with next day arrivals “Arrives next day.”  A message like this could be useful to highlight overnight trips.   Or, including a date with arrival/depart times after travel times roll over to another day.

Aaron is the founding principal of Trillium Solutions, Inc. He brings experience that includes 12 years of web-development with 8 years in public transportation, with knowledge of fixed-route transportation, paratransit, rural transportation, and active transportation modes. Aaron is a recognized expert in developing data standards, web-application design, digital communications, and online marketing strategy. He originally developed Trillium’s GTFS Manager, and has played a key role in the development of the GTFS data specification since 2007.