Sunday , August 20 2017

Victorians are finally starting to see transit information in Google Maps

Google Transit
The long running saga of Google Transit directions for Victorian residents continues, but it seems there may be a glimmer of hope that something may change soon. Ausdroid reader Dan has shared images from his Google Now stream which clearly shows Google Transit information in his Google Now stream.

As you can see, the information showing up in Google Now includes both train and bus departure times, as well as station or stop information needed to make use of the public transport option.

Google Transit - Victoria

Unfortunately there’s no broad availability of Google Transit on the web or on mobile with searches for Transit directions in Melbourne defaulting to other options (Walking).

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 2.07.22 pm

Victorians have been lagging behind the rest of Australia for some time when it comes to Google Transit, but the availability seemed to be almost imminent when Victorian Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan advised in January last year that Public Transport Victoria (PTV) were working to release Transit data in the Google friendly data format called General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS).

In March, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews MP, announced that the data had been released, but since then we’ve heard nothing official on the release of Google Transit in Melbourne.

In October last year, the Google Transit team responded to requests for information on Google Transit in Victoria from Ausdroid reader Phillip, saying:

We are trying our best to improve the quality of the GTFS feed and to ensure that it conforms with the GTFS. At this point, it is difficult to assume when the feed will be ready for production. But please understand, we are exploring options to make the the data live soon.

There’s been back and forth from commenters saying that PTV failed to provide the GTFS data in the correct format, but so far there is no official comment from Google on the matter, and none of the commenters have identified themselves as credible sources directly related to PTV or Google.

Whatever the story is, it seems there’s some signs that Victorians could be plugging to and from into Google Maps soon and enjoy the benefits of knowing when the next bus or train is available.

Are you waiting on Google Transit in Victoria?

 
Source: +Dan Goodes.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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19 Comments on "Victorians are finally starting to see transit information in Google Maps"

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Member
Luke Vesty

We finally start seeing progress in this area and I’m overseas – in Europe, no less, where Google Maps transport integration is superb. Getting around Berlin was an absolute breeze thanks to Google Maps. Just awesome.

Come on Melbourne!

Member

Haha! Tell me about it! I have been a big supporter of this push and giving PTV/Government a hard time to get this to work. I thought a month or so back: “What if it actually isn’t as useful as I think it will be and I’ve wasted all this time on it?” but I am also in Europe (Netherlands) and using the integration here and its is Amazing! Down to the right platform and everything!

Ben Cannon
Valued Guest

Transit for every other capital city might be fine, but trying to find public transport between Launceston and Hobart, for example, yields some interesting results. I haven’t tested any other regional routes but I’m sure there may be similar stories. As for Melbourne, It’s a shame that Bing doesn’t have decent location services, and Yahoo doesn’t have much in the way of search integration – you can’t just type in a shop name, otherwise I’d think about using them until google pulls it’s finger out.

Allen Baranov
Valued Guest

While it is always fun blaming the government, Nokia “Here” works just fine for public transport…

Member
I don’t blame the government directly. I will blame the PTV all da y long and twice as much on Sundays! When you put out data for the transport mapping companies to use, it makes sense to put it in a format that can be used by the largest number of apps to reach the largest number of users and in this case, thats by following the Google Transit standard! Why? A) Google is the biggest player in the market B) every 2bit app that tries to do something in the transit area has option 1 as reading a transit… Read more »
Allen Baranov
Valued Guest
Molly, I’m certainly on your side. Up until mid last year it was ridiculous that this information wasn’t released to the app developers in a standard format or, at the very least, a de facto standard format such as GTFS. The thing is that now Google say that the information is incorrectly formatted and PTV say that it is correct and yet Nokia Here maps are able to use the information as published quite happily. While I am an Android user and general Google fan and would prefer to use their services where I can, it seems to be that… Read more »
Member
Why doesn’t Google? Because if they let one provider (that needs Google a lot more than Google needs them) not work to the standard, then there will no longer be a standard! And lets get it right. Its not like you have to take wild guesses on how to get your data to work with Google! They provide examples, documentation and test tools to show if your stuff works! PTV were arrogant and incompetent to the extreme on this. In my communications with both sides, PTV was arrogant (i.e. Why don’t you ask Google why they haven’t integrated it) verse… Read more »
Allen Baranov
Valued Guest
I stand to be corrected but it seems that PTV have released their information as per the original Google standard. Granted, it took way longer than it really should have and that is inexcusable and embarrassing. And probably a bad business decision more than anything. But now the information is out there and (this is my understanding) Nokia (or whoever “Here” is) is using this information in Google’s format to populate their travel app whereas Google are not. I can’t speak on behalf of Google but it is either because they would prefer the information in the newer – more… Read more »
Member

No, the PTV released data in GTFS format but it wasn’t too Google’s Standard! There is a huge difference. It’s like me asking you to give me a budget in an excel document and you give me numbers randomly put in an excel document! Sure it’s in the format I wanted (excel) but it isn’t a budget!

And regardless, your making it out that Google was being pigheaded when the exact opposite is true! Google bent over backwards to work to fix PTV feed and the PTV were a bunch of arogant jerks!

Grant
Valued Guest
Grant

No longer owned by Nokia, it’s owned by the same car companies who let software languish to the point of unusable. Time to drop Here like a hot potato, bet their stuff stops working soon.

Allen Baranov
Valued Guest

It works really well for me so I’ll use it until it stops being useful.

I don’t really care too much about the company behind the app as long as it gets me to where I need to be and it does.

I would love to continue using Offi which I have supported for a while and like the whole 1 guy putting out a useful app for free concept but it was proving to be too difficult to use correctly.

D987
Valued Guest
D987

The same car companies whom are now offering Android Auto.

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred

Of the three companies who make up the conglomerate who purchased Here, Audi, Daimler and BMW, only Audi is listed as a member of the Open Automotive Alliance – but has not yet advised when they will release a vehicle with Android Auto.

Daimler and BMW are neither listed as offering vehicles with Android Auto, nor are they members of the Open Automotive Alliance.

Guest321
Valued Guest
Guest321

The finger pointing was the data was ‘incorrectly formatted’ so Google wouldn’t load it in, but the gov said it was formatted as per the spec. Google being ‘bigger’ than the VIC gov, stood its ground.

Here maps, while they loaded it as is, it had lots of ‘strange’ routing issues etc, so google was more delaying the data load to get it right from the start, rather than have bragging rights.

Anthonaut
Valued Guest
Anthonaut

Now we just need AFL integration in Google Now and pigs will fly!

Member

Google Maps is also showing more useful information if you navigate with public transport.

Andrew Palozzo
Valued Guest

Seems like no tram timetables though :'(

Member

Can’t find anything from mine 🙁

Sam Chung
Valued Guest
Sam Chung

Yess! it’s appearing in my google maps, but can’t seem to plan journey with it

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