Bing Transit

Last week, on September 16th, Microsoft’s Bing Maps added transit directions, following the lead of Google Maps, which added transit directions beginning in late 2005.

Bing offers transit directions for 11 cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, and Vancouver.  For the official announcement, see the Bing Community Blog (Bing Maps Gets Transit Directions).

Microsoft is using General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data feeds in the application, the same data used in Google Maps.  Transit directions should be part of every mapping application.  The common GTFS standard and open data is enabling this broader integration and availability.

It is very promising to see the second major online mapping service add transit directions.  I hope we’ll also see MapQuest and Yahoo! Maps follow along.  As the Bing Maps transit directions feature develops and more agencies are added, I’ll post to the Trillium blog.  I will also post as transit directions (hopefully) are added to other online mapping services.

Screenshot of an itinerary from Bing Maps. Notice the display of the previous and next stop: "If you reach 16th St Mission BART, you've gone too far."

Aaron is the founding principal of Trillium Solutions, Inc. He brings experience that includes 13 years of experience 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.