GoogleTransit debuts in Perth

The system integrates routes and timetables with Google Maps

Australia has finally joined Google Transit more than two years after its US launch.

The system integrates transportation routes and timetables with the functionality of Google Maps.

Alan Noble, head of engineering for Google Australia and New Zealand today launched the application in Perth as the first installation for the Southern Hemisphere.

"You can find the quickest route to take, when buses and trains are leaving and because it integrates with Google Maps, it can recommend some cafe's in the area," Noble says.

"Public transportation is difficult enough for mere mortals to understand."

"We are hoping with the Perth deployment that the other transit agencies around Australia will see what we are doing and hopefully get excited."

The system integrates with WA transportation authority Transperth.

Google Transit was created in Portland, Oregon from the company's initiative which allocates 20% of engineers' time to develop projects of their own interest.

Google uses an XML feed to collate information and it is up to the transportation operators to provide relevant details.

Noble declined to say when other states will be added to the system, but expects operators to participate due to the success of the Perth implementation.

"We really do depend on the agencies to provide us with the transit information so we couldn't predict how soon we will see deployments in all Australian cities," he says.

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