Google Maps for a few years now has offered the ability to search for a route taking public transportation. This service, called Google Transit, is now offered in dozens of US and world cities, including the city that I have been living in for the past two years. Having recently experienced the excellent public transportation system in Prague, I hope that this service will make the Milwaukee system more popular for everyone. When I lived in Madison, WI for undergrad, I used the public transportation system all the time. It was free or very cheap for students. I’ve yet to use the Milwaukee public transportation system because I have my own car and because it would have been scary to ride the buses without having a specific idea of where they are going or the approximate time frame. This is probably the biggest hurdle for a system of only buses (like in Milwaukee)…in Prague everyone rides the public transit system (trams, buses, and subway). It was also very cheap in Prague. If buying a set of day passes for an entire week, the cost was about $6-7 a day for unlimited travel on any of the public transit options. In Milwaukee, the cost for an adult is $2 per ride and residents only get the choice of bus. And, I’m sure that the quality of our bus system cannot compare to the service that I had in Prague. But, services like Google Transit are a start. I hope they help inspire improvements in public transportation across the US.
One more thing. Sign this petition to ask Google to add a “Bike There” option to Google Maps.
Here are some sites with more info about this:
“Bike There” petition for Google Maps gets support
I Want Google to Keep Me Out of A Pickle
Big News (regarding Austin and Google)