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How Businesses Can Benefit from Live Transit Updates via Google Maps

on . Posted in Mobile

Transit_updateOne of the most frustrating parts of taking public transportation is never knowing when your bus or train will arrive. This can cause headaches for business owners in dense downtown areas whose customers have to rely on public transportation or limited parking options to do business with them. However, for some cities that rely on buses or trains as a significant part of their public transportation infrastructure, a solution seems to have arrived.

Google has worked with transit agencies in four U.S. cities (Boston; Portland, OR; San Francisco, and San Diego) and two in Europe (Turin, Italy; and Madrid, Spain) to provide real-time location data on buses or trains that will tell prospective riders how long they will need to wait. This data has been integrated with transit maps on Google Maps, and can be accessed from desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This means that instead of waiting ten or twenty minutes to catch a bus, people can leave their home or apartment just minutes before a bus is scheduled to arrive and get to their destination with a minimum of hassle.

All mobile or desktop users have to do to get the benefits of this live, real-time information is to bring up the Google Maps application on their device. Google Maps already shows the location of public transportation features such as bus and train stops, but now by clicking on a public transportation icon in the maps of one of the above-mentioned cities, users can find out when the next buses and trains are scheduled to come so they can plan their trips accordingly. This is particularly useful when people live near multiple bus or train stations that both can be used to arrive at particular destinations. With Google Maps, desktop and mobile users can find out which of these nearby stations has the next bus or train, taking the guesswork out of public transportation.

Business owners whose locations are in areas where public transportation is the most convenient option are likely to benefit significantly from this new addition to Google Maps. Every time public transportation becomes more desirable, people tend to use it for more trips, making it more likely that they will visit any particular business in such areas. Additionally, since no new software or upgrades are necessary to use this new feature of Google Maps, the potential benefits are expected to be even larger