Photo by k is for kristina.

Back in March, after a campaign by Greater Greater Washington and other blogs, Metro finally released its transit schedule and routing information using the open Google Transit Feed Specification format. However, riders still can’t get directions using transit on Google Maps. What’s the holdup?

LA recently joined Google Transit, making WMATA and Boston’s MBTA the last major agencies not participating in the popular service.  In fact, of the transit agencies APTA lists as “Heavy Rail,” “Light Rail,” and “Major Bus,” about 85% of average weekday nationwide transit trips happen on systems working with Google.

Back in March, Metro released its information under fairly restrictive terms of service, which Google won’t sign as is. Metro should work out a deal with Google for an agreement as soon as practical.  Now that the new iPhone and Android phones support transit directions using Google Maps, Google Transit will make it easier for riders to get from here to there using Metro’s rail and buses, and that’s what Metro is all about.

Next, we’ll look at Google’s standard agreement, Metro’s license agreement, and the likely sticking points between the two.

Michael Perkins blogs about Metro operations and fares, performance parking, and any other government and economics information he finds on the Web. He lives with his wife and two children in Arlington, Virginia.