Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Google Transit does the AATA

23. April 2008 • Bruce Fields
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Google Headquarters, Ann Arbor, by rosefirerising

Google maps will now give you local bus directions between any two points (example). Neat-o. (Thanks to YpsiNews, via Phillip Farber and Ed Vielmetti.)

Ed notes that they’ve also done Detroit, and points out that there are now a couple ways to get between Ann Arbor and Detroit on transit. Google maps doesn’t seem to know about them, though.



  1. I actually noticed that today. What a fantastic way to integrate the two features!


       —Christy    Apr. 23 '08 - 03:43AM    #
  2. This would be a lot more useful if the data set also included the U of Michigan buses, which are free to anyone who gets on. Often the best route around the campus area is a big blue bus and not an AATA bus, but I never ever know when to expect the others.


       —Edward Vielmetti    Apr. 23 '08 - 04:17AM    #
  3. Google Maps… one of the most useful websites in existence. Excellent new feature.


       —Skyler    Apr. 23 '08 - 02:12PM    #
  4. Ed,

    Try this for the UM buses: http://www.pts.umich.edu/. On the left is a link to schedules/routes and a link to the Magic bus, which shows where each bus is in real-time.

    I agree it would be better if google included them, and greyhound, amtrak, michigan flyer, etc.


       —S.    Apr. 23 '08 - 04:54PM    #
  5. Thanks S. The Magic Bus stuff looks neat; I wish there had already been built for it some simple text-only mobile phone ready web user interface, like the Mobile Ridetrak http://mobile.theride.org that I use every day for the AATA. simple matter of programming.


       —Edward Vielmetti    Apr. 24 '08 - 01:59AM    #
  6. I’d like to get a copy of the file that the AATA sent to Google for Google Transit, so that I can (hopefully) generate some interesting reports from it.

    So far I haven’t been told no, but I haven’t seen a copy of the data set.


       —Edward Vielmetti    Jul. 24 '08 - 07:13PM    #
  7. Whatever file was sent, the Get Directions for GoogleMaps now includes Public Transit for Ann Arbor (maybe that’s old news and I just now noticed?)—yields a nice overview of which buses to take, when they leave, etc. (The link I tried on preview didn’t actually go to the example I’d created … give it a shot, it’s pretty slick)

    Combined with Street View, you can get a clear idea of where the bus stop is for an unfamiliar destination. Not sure when to pull the cord? No problem.


       —HD    Jul. 25 '08 - 03:05AM    #
  8. “maybe that’s old news and I just now noticed?”

    Uhhhh, yeah. I guess that’s what it says in the top-level post. Sorry.


       —HD    Jul. 25 '08 - 03:07AM    #
  9. Update:

    Mobile RideTrak is down, and has been down all week.

    The AATA still has not responded to a request for a copy of the Google Transit data.

    we fight with the transportation system we have, not the one we want…


       —Edward Vielmetti    Dec. 11 '08 - 05:04PM    #
  10. The Ann Arbor Chronicle is reporting in stopped watched

    office furniture and equipment piled on curb; landlord says “chronic non-payment of rent” caused eviction of web hosting company IAS; provides service for AATA; AATA website currently down;

    http://annarborchronicle.com/2008/12/16/jones-drive-near-broadway/


       —Edward Vielmetti    Dec. 16 '08 - 05:55PM    #