Google's Online Maps Gets New Jersey Commuters On Time

A transportation routing partnership with NJ TRANSIT has its roots in Google's California headquarters.
In an example of the growing use of Google's mapping capability, New Jersey Transit's public transportation system will partner with the search engine company to provide trip planning for commuters utilizing the utility's extensive system, the largest statewide public transportation system in the U.S.

The partnership integrates Google Maps on NJ TRANSIT's Web site. NJ TRANSIT provides scheduling data for its 164 rail and 60 light rail stations along with information pages for each station. Customers can then find local businesses at locations convenient to their travel routes on the system.

Google Transit delivers visual depiction of commuters' routes on geographical maps while also displaying departure and arrival time for individual travelers.

"For visitors to the region or the occasional rider who is less familiar with New Jersey's public transportation options it gives them a starting point for learning about NJ TRANSIT and is a key too for attracting new riders to our system," said NJ TRANSIT broad member Kenneth Pringle, in a statement on Monday. The system is also planned for eventual use across multiple transit providers as they come online in the future.

Much of the origins of Google Transit can be traced to the company's transportation routing operation that picks up and delivers Google employees headed to work at the company's Mountain View, California, headquarters. Two Google employees developed basic pieces of an advanced Transportation Routing system in 2004 and filed a patent for it. The patent, US20060149461, was published in July 2006. Additional features can be added in future iterations of the system, features like GPS linking between commuters and bus drivers and others.

Google said more than 30 transportation agencies in the U.S. and internationally offer trip planning using its system. Travelers can log onto the system to obtain specific departure and arrival times along with estimated trip duration. Utilizing Google Maps, the system provides driving directions as well as the location of local businesses and specific landmarks.

The NJ TRANSIT application is an example of how Google cobbles together various technology pieces including its search and mapping technology and creates a sweeping application useful to a wide audience.

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