Negotiations between WMATA and Google over Google Transit have reached the point of hammering out actual legal language, which means a deal could be very close.

According to our source, Google has sent WMATA a revised license agreement based on the discussions between the organizations.

This should, at the very least, remove all requirements for indemnification, a provision WMATA has insisted they won’t accept. Chicago was able to remove this indemnification as well, making it reasonable for WMATA to request this change.

Typically, contracts such as these go through numerous revisions as lawyers on both sides nitpick language back and forth. It may take some time. But the fact that WMATA and Google have reached this point is very promising.

Arlington Transit is also working to get their data included by the end of March. In Arlington’s case, there are some data errors in the feed which they have to fix to ensure that each bus stop location and route’s path is accurate.

The DC Circulator, Ride On, DASH, Fairfax CUE, and MTA commuter buses already participate in the service, which is free to the transit providers and to users. Those services do not all also release their data publicly, which WMATA does. Once WMATA and ART list their trips in Google Transit, riders will be able to plan trips directly from Google Maps or their iPhone or Android applications on most of the transit services in the region.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Surface Transit. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.