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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 12-08-05, 01:23 PM   #1
fallstorm
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Google Transit

That all-encompassing bastion of internet data, Google, has launched a new service in their labs for transit maps and routing information. It shows a map from your starting location to your ending location along with how to walk to the nearest transit station. It gives you the next few departure times and the duration. And, ta-da!, it gives you the cost of transit vs driving. Pretty neat, but it only covers the Portland, Oregon area for now.

Having lived in Portland, I took some time to play with it. It seemed to have trouble identifying common landmarks like Lewis and Clark College, so I had to find the address myself and plug it in. It's neat when it finds the location, but it's finicky.

I'm having trouble with the page display in Camino 1.0b1, so you may also have problems with Mozilla and Firefox. There are no vertical scrollbars and using the arrow keys moves the map only. I'll send something to Google about it when I get some more time this evening.

Looks like something with a lot of potential when they add some more cities and work out the bugs. If you want to check it out, go to http://www.google.com/transit.
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Old 12-08-05, 03:10 PM   #2
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still waiting for www.google.com/bike
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Old 12-08-05, 03:56 PM   #3
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hmmm. This is good. If it kicks off like the rest, cities all over the place will be added and this will be another great tool.

Perhaps in the end they will add a checkbox "I am travelling with a bicycle" and give you routes where transit accepts bikes, or have bike locking facilities.

But I agree, I'd love to see something made with cycling routes in mind.
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Old 12-08-05, 05:36 PM   #4
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Well, with the new Google and Yahoo beta mapping, it is only a matter of time before somebody starts mapping for bikes. Like most cities, we have maps for suggested bike routes put out by a local bike club. (I don't agree with all their choices, but that's beside the point.) It would be a matter of creating a map that would give you a "riding route" between two input locations, as Yahoo and Mapquest now do with driving directions.

Is everyone familiar with Google maps "pedometer" sites? You click in your routes on a Google map. This marks your route on the map and calculates the distance within a few feet. It's useful and a lot of fun. Some of these sites (there are several) will also give you "calories expended" but only for walking or running. I'm sure that somebody will soon come up with a calorie counter for cycling. Many of us riders would also like to have elevation computed so we know how big those climbs really are.
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Old 12-08-05, 08:46 PM   #5
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http://slashdot.org/articles/05/12/0....shtml?tid=217
Only Portland....
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Old 12-09-05, 06:15 PM   #6
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The other Google transit thread was deleted. This one had more replies, so I chucked the other one. Just no nobody wonders

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Old 12-09-05, 06:18 PM   #7
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This is pretty cool:

Quote:
Cost: $1.80 (vs. $4.07 driving!)
I wonder if that will get more people using mass transit. You'd think so, wouldn't you? Maybe they should also link it up with current traffic conditions, and estimate the speed of a bus or train VS a car
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Old 12-09-05, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HereNT
This is pretty cool:



I wonder if that will get more people using mass transit. You'd think so, wouldn't you? Maybe they should also link it up with current traffic conditions, and estimate the speed of a bus or train VS a car
That is cool. And a bike would probably be half again less.
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Old 12-10-05, 08:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HereNT
This is pretty cool:



I wonder if that will get more people using mass transit. You'd think so, wouldn't you? Maybe they should also link it up with current traffic conditions, and estimate the speed of a bus or train VS a car
Well, my experience is that, even in LA, where traffic tends to be horrific, for trips > 5 miles, if speed is paramount, even in rush hour, driving is nearly always a bit faster. You have to take into account walking to/from the station, an the various stops the train/bus makes. Exceptions are: when there are accidents and the whole freeway is blocked.
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Old 12-10-05, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worker4youth
Well, my experience is that, even in LA, where traffic tends to be horrific, for trips > 5 miles, if speed is paramount, even in rush hour, driving is nearly always a bit faster. You have to take into account walking to/from the station, an the various stops the train/bus makes. Exceptions are: when there are accidents and the whole freeway is blocked.
I would say that even riding a bike is faster than a bus in inner city areas. I recently was going to take a bus with Tony and Jerry, but the bike rack was full. i rode my bike and waited five minutes for them at the transfer station. The rack was full on the next bus, and I beat them to their destination two miles away by at least 5 minutes. Of course, the bus would probably win out in the suburbs, if you didn't count time spent waiting for it at the bus stop.
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Old 12-10-05, 12:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I would say that even riding a bike is faster than a bus in inner city areas. I recently was going to take a bus with Tony and Jerry, but the bike rack was full. i rode my bike and waited five minutes for them at the transfer station. The rack was full on the next bus, and I beat them to their destination two miles away by at least 5 minutes. Of course, the bus would probably win out in the suburbs, if you didn't count time spent waiting for it at the bus stop.
That's been my experience, too. But I know that a lot of longer trips out to the suburbs or wherever, the busses win. The cars are stuck but the busses can use the carpool lane on the freeways. A bike would probably lose, but the bus would beat the cars.

I think rail would beat all of them, but there's only one line here, so it's kind of hard to judge.
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Old 12-20-05, 11:39 PM   #12
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This thread brings to mind my time in London. Their Transport For London site has a Journy Planner and is rather user friendly. You can choose methods of transport (underground, walk, bike, bus, boat) you are willing to take as well as how long you are willing to walk. Then, it'll find the all the applicable routes and the schedule that coincides with the time/day you include. And of course, it gives you a map too at the end. Plus, I know they are trying to enhance it for location based services but it'll be a while before that happens. Fantastic stuff.
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