The Regional Municipality of York (YRT) has partnered with Google and INIT to offer riders new real-time trip plans through Google Maps. The innovative service, Google Live Transit Updates, tracks YRT busses using INIT's GPS-based navigation system and gives riders the exact time a bus will depart from their stop. Since regular schedules can vary due to changing traffic and weather conditions, real-time schedules take the guesswork out of trip planning. YRT/Viva is the first transit agency in Canada to offer real-time trip planning on Google with up-to-the-minute next bus departure information.
To access the real-time trip plans and bus departure information for a particular stop, YRT riders can visit www.maps.google.com. By entering a starting address and destination and clicking on the public transit icon, riders receive a trip plan complete with transfers, walking directions and map. To access the real-time bus departure information for a particular stop, riders just need to click on the transit stop icon. An added benefit includes a satellite view in the mapping feature where passengers can view satellite photos of their travel area making it easy to pinpoint landmarks and find their bus stop.
There are four U.S. cities which have deployed this new real-time service: Boston, Portland, San Diego and San Francisco. "The significance of being the first, and currently only, transit agency in Canada to offer Live Transit Updates is monumental. We have the ability to provide an exclusive service that is on the cutting edge of real-time technology within our industry," said Rajeev Roy, manager of transit management systems at YRT.
YRT's ground-breaking development not only complements their existing suite of real-time trip planning services available at www.yrt.ca, but it further positions INIT as a progressive partner of ITS solutions for public transit.