clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Google Maps Now Has Real-Time Arrival Information for Metro Buses and Trains

As any seasoned LA bus rider (and Tom Petty) will tell you, the waiting is truly the hardest part. Even with the city's recent efforts to improve the bus stop experience with WiFi and phone chargers, the idea of standing on a street corner watching drivers racing by to their destinations is not a pleasant thought. (In fact, it's probably a large reason why Metro buses are shunned by most LA commuters.) Luckily we exist in an age where technological advances live in our pockets, and the smartphone has come to the rescue. According to The Source, Google Maps has fully integrated real time Metro bus arrival times into its smartphone app and website.
Bus travel has never been more efficient, as Google Maps eliminates much of the guesswork that came with estimating travel time by bus. After entering a starting point and destination, the app provides the bus routes the rider will need to take and an eerily accurate estimated arrival time. Delays in service are received by Google, and the app will update the route to reflect the changes in travel time. Real-time Metro information is now also available on the Google Maps website, with deviations from the scheduled arrival times noted just like on the app.

In the app, the times written in black are the scheduled arrival times, and the times written in red are the new arrival times that account for delays. If the bus were on time, the arrival would show up in green.

Google Maps has provided bus arrival info in its directions for years now, but those arrival estimates were never updated in real time. They were based on Metro's published timetables and failed to take into account delays from minor things like, you know, famously bad LA traffic. To get real-time arrival information, one would have had to open a SECOND app (awful, right?), and coordinate between the two. Metro has been using that app, called Nextrip, since 2009 to provide accurate arrival information for its vehicles.

Travel options for a trip from LACMA to the Hollywood Bowl tell you where to expect a late bus:

· Google Maps now has real-time arrival info for Metro [The Source]
· LA's Great Streets Are Getting New Bus Stops With WiFi and Phone Chargers [Curbed LA]