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.
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).
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?