Friday, September 3, 2010

Welcome the 21st Century: Google Transit trip planner

LANTA has been working for more than a year with Google Transit, the folks who furnish a free, online application that provides the public with details of what bus routes to take from one destination to another. It was a challenging task! In addition to all the work required to be completed in-house, a team of 4 went on the road for roughly 3 months to geo code all 2694 bus stops so they are satellite accurate. Staff has been assembling what seems to be a mountain of data and now Google Transit can be used by young and old alike to plan daily travel.

Wonder how it works?

Example question: Is it possible to travel by bus from 14th and Main Street, Northampton to the Staples store at 3300 Lehigh Street, Allentown (South Mall)?

Answer: Now it’s as easy as going to

On the web site plug in the origin and destination addresses, along with the date and time you would like to travel and Google Transit will supply a map showing your requested route, the bus letter/number, time the trip will take, times the bus leaves, and transit cost compared to the cost of driving a personal vehicle.

The question above only requires one bus (Route D), but how will this service work with transfers?

Example question: Is it possible to travel by bus from Center City Allentown (6th and Linden) to downtown Easton (Northampton Street)?

Answer: Again, it is as easy as going to and plugging in the addresses of your origin and destination. (If you are not sure of an address, “Google Map” it first.) The resulting map will show you the bus number/letter and where to connect. Also, on the left side will be the times for the connection.

It’s magic!

Google Transit is currently running but in ‘beta’ format. To try it out, go to and click on the Google Transit trip planner link. We ask that everyone bear with us as minor glitches are worked out. If you bump into any obvious errors with your queries, please forward the url to

LANTA is proud to say that we are the third transit authority in Pennsylvania to be on Google Transit! The other two are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

No comments: