By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 28, 2013 09:31 AM EDT
Google's popular mapping service now boasts live departure information or service alerts in three new U.S. metropolitan areas: NYC, DC and Salt Lake City.
Google just announced it is boosting Google Maps' live transit feature to include several subway and bus live departure schedules in New York and Salt Lake City, as well as service alerts for Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail.
"We want to make sure you have access to the most comprehensive, accurate, and useful information when you're on the go — and that includes public transportation," Google Maps partnership developer manager Soufy Esmaeilzadeh explains in a blog post. "With these updates — part of the millions of live transit schedule updates we process every day — you get instant access to the latest information right on Google Maps, making trip planning a cinch."
With the new addition, seven New York subway lines now sport the live departure time feature. For the greater Salt Lake City areas, various tram and bus lines now have the same feature. Washington, D.C. is yet to get live departure information, but users can currently see live service alerts, delays and scheduled track work.
Overall, Google Maps now boasts transit information for 25 countries worldwide. This information includes pick-up locations, estimated travel time, as well as fare cost for as many as 800 cities. This figure marks a notable improvement since last August, when the Internet giant reached a major milestone — charting 1 million public transport schedules across 500 cities around the world.
Mapping out the world's transit structures has been on Google Maps' agenda for years. Google Maps added public transport in New York in 2008, included voice search with its transit planner in 2009, and started to provide live transit updates for a few cities in the U.S. and Europe in 2012.
Microsoft's Bing also added public transit directions to its Maps feature back in 2010, while Apple has yet to enrich its infamous mapping app with such features. The Cupertino giant notoriously ditched the Google Maps native app last September, when it launched its iOS 6. In December, however, Google launched a standalone iOS app. Apple may have popular products, but it still has a lot of work to do when it comes to its mapping service, and Google Maps' new features make it even harder to catch up.
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