Just in Time for Tomorrow’s Memorial, Google Transit Arrives in L.A.

7_6_09_blue_line.jpgHow to avoid traffic and get to the Staples Center tomorrow.  Image: Friends for Expo

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know that Michael Jackson has passed away and a memorial has been planned for the Staples Center tomorrow.  The city is bending over backwards to try and figure out what to do with all of the cars that will descend on the Downtown for the memorial, to the point that I even watched Council Woman Jan Perry give a five minute interview on the expected traffic crunch and how mourners can avoid the jam without once mentioning the words, "transit," or "bus," or "Blue Line," or "bicycle."

While taking transit to the event may not have occured to the City Council as a way to beat traffic, google and Metro are informally working together to make certain that information is just a couple of clicks away.

After years of its public demanding that Metro share data with google as agencies around the country have already done; Google Transit for Metro has finally launched.  LAist has already covered the launch.  While the routing is still a little buggy, Metro is already claiming this is a test and not to get too worked up over any mistakes.  Amusingly, Metro staff says that they aren’t at the point of making an announcement, despite the service’s available since for the last three days and the news articles heralding its announcement.

Meanwhile, if you want to tryout letting google map your transit route, using the application is as quick as typing "maps.google.com"  into your browser and selecting the transit option from the drop down bar on the left.  I’ve already gotten some feedback on weird routing.  For example, my sister-in-law decided to use google transit to map a trip from her house in Woodland Hills to the Staples Center.  Despite living a couple of blocks from the Orange Line, google transit would have sent her on five different local bus routes on a three hour oddyssey.  Feel free to leave your feedback for Google and Metro or the results of your own experimentation in our comments section and I’ll make certain they are passed along.

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