Google Listens: a rural transit itinerary issue resolved
Back in December of 2009, I posted on some of the issues with Google Maps transit itinerary results in rural areas that some Trillium clients were experiencing.
Recently, I noticed that some of these issues were resolved. Earlier, this trip was half walking directions. Now, one of the results shows the option to take transit all the way to the destination. See below.
Note, however, that we see the somewhat awkward display of an in-seat (stay on board) transfer to the same route, as the loop route continues through the top of it’s schedule here. More on loop routes here.
8 thoughts on “Google Listens: a rural transit itinerary issue resolved”
Nice work, Aaron
I’ve started to see a similar issue. It appears that the local intercity GTFS is muddling up my trip results. What was once a short walk with $2.00 fare, is now a slightly shorter walk, an hour of extra travel time, and a $12 fare.
Can you post a link to the problematic trip here so I can take a look? I’d welcome a guest post from you on the issue.
Here’s an example,
Notice that instead of having the user cross Crater Lake Ave to the nearest inbound stop, it suggests (in all three results) that the user board the nearest stop…and well, you can see where that takes them….
Do you know if this trip is possible to make on the SouthWest POINT service? Is a trip allowed between these stop pairs, in what is a local service area? Trillium publishes the SouthWest Point GTFS, but since you’re in the area you may know more about the service than I do.
If the trip is possible to make, then there’s not much to do besides suggest Google change the transit trip planning algorithm so that the “Best route” and/or “Fewest transfers” preferences would return trips that involve more walking and less transit travel time. Another option is to request that Google Maps offers an option to select lowest fare. Currently, however, transit services are so limited in the United States that most customers are more interested in knowing what trips are possible rather than comparison shopping for fares.
If this trip is not allowed on the SouthWest POINT service, then we need a way of expressing that in the GTFS. This thread on the transit-developers list concerns that very issue, and may be interesting to you:
Tell me what you know about the SouthWest POINT service and what’s allowed in terms of local travel. If you don’t have an answer ready, I can check in with them too.
SW Point does allow that trip, at a fare of $10. SW Point is a publicly funded intercity transit service that runs once a day through Medford. In the trip results, if one was to miss the bus on the first day, Google recommends that the user wait 24 hours to catch the next SW point bus.
I spoke with an ODOT representative who oversees SW Point, and he seemed to think it was a problem with RVTD’s feed, or the trip planning application itself.
I’ve checked RVTD’s GTFS, and can’t see any evidence of missing or corrupted data.
Jon, we’ll take a look at this in the next few days and get back to you.
I looked at the most recent result. It appears as if the issue you noticed earlier is resolved.
Here is a link: http://www.google.com/maps?saddr=Woodrow+Lane,+Medford,+OR&daddr=Phoenix,+OR&hl=en&sll=36.499166,-99.495552&sspn=69.368018,44.384766&geocode=FWoMhgIdF1St-CnrAwTFTXrPVDEn61a-0YXuOA%3BFU4ShQId1PGt-CkRHuZ64XjPVDGnNBHR8pk3-Q&vpsrc=0&dirflg=r&ttype=dep&date=11%2F8%2F11&time=1:13pm&noexp=0&noal=0&sort=def&mra=ls&t=m&z=13&start=0
Excellent! I didn’t expect such a quick resolution.
Many thanks for looking into it.