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Metro provides digital timetables for each of its 191 bus routes and 5 rail lines in the PDF format. While PDF is a universally accepted format, and an accessible one at that, I find PDF documents to be a bit disruptive when browsing for vital information – like timetables – on the web.
Metro’s web and operations teams are currently in the process of creating HTML timetables – timetables that can be viewed in your browser like any other web page – for Metro.net, but until the conversion is complete we’re stuck with PDF’s. The good new is that there’s a solution for users who’d rather view timetables in their web browsers rather than going through the hassle of downloading PDF timetables and opening them with a separate program.
Firefox and Chrome users can take advantage of an add-on called gPDF to view any PDF (Metro timetables included) in Google Docs with a click of the mouse. You can download it here: http://blog.arpitnext.com/gpdf
Unfortunately I haven’t found a solution for Internet Explorer or Safari, but if you know of a similar add-on for those browser please share it in the comments.
One important note: while all of Metro’s PDF timetables are ADA/Section 508 web compliant for the blind, Google Docs doesn’t support the embedded tagging system, so vision impaired users probably won’t be able to take advantage of this tip.