Metrorail and Metrobus data are now a part of Google Transit!

If you now go to Google Maps, you can get directions from one place to another not just by car and bike, but also by transit using WMATA services, as well as a few other area transit systems. Here’s a sample trip from Arlington to H Street:



WMATA just put out a press release that they and Google “will make a joint announcement about technology improvements that will benefit Metrorail and Metrobus riders” tomorrow. They don’t say what the announcement will be, but there happens to be one service WMATA and Google have been working on for a long time now, for which they signed a contract in July and said was “very close” in March… and which has suddenly become available for riders.

The service has also been available on Bing Maps for some time.

Since the MTA Maryland buses and light rail and MARC are all on Google already, you can now also use Google Maps to plan a trip from Baltimore to DC using multiple transit services. Here’s a somewhat complex example, with 6 different options; one even uses the Amtrak Northeast Regional.

The DC Circulator and Montgomery County’s Ride On are also on Google already.

We’re just two days shy of 29 months since Michael Perkins launched our first email petition to ask WMATA to take this step for riders. Michael kept doggedly on the story, FOIAing other cities’ agreements to rebut arguments about legal obstacles. There was a lot of resistance from within the agency and from some members of the Board, but other sympathetic staff and Board members pushed this forward, and now it’s a reality.

Thanks, WMATA!

Disclosure: I used to work for Google, but had no involvement with Google Maps. I no longer own any Google stock and have no other financial interest in Google.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. 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.