Have you noticed Metro’s realtime transit updates on Google Maps? Google soft-launched the new feature last week.
If you’re using Google Maps on your smartphone, here’s how it works. After you open the app and it finds your location, tap on the transit icons on the map to see which lines use that stop or station.
You should then see a screen like the one below. In this case, the times that are colored green indicate that a bus is arriving on schedule. The times in red indicate a bus that has fallen behind schedule. The times in black are the scheduled arrival times but with no real-time prediction yet.
This new feature is a mashup of Metro’s planned schedules and the Nextrip realtime arrival data, which Metro began using in 2009. Embedding the real-time data in Google Maps means that users don’t then have to also visit the Nextbus website to see if their bus or train is on time.
As Matt Wong, Strategic Partner Development Manager at Google said last week, “We prefer to launch real-time data as soon as is feasible and then iterate towards a better product as we receive user feedback on issues that may be present.
What do you think? Is this new feature helpful?