The news that commuters on weekly or longer MyMulti tickets in Sydney can soon use the Sydney Light Rail without additional charges doesn’t just mean better potential value for those ticket-holders. It also means that the public transport tracking features on Google Maps have inched a little closer to being relevant in Sydney.
As we’ve noted on Lifehacker many times before, the light rail is the only public transport option tracked in Sydney by Google Maps. That was next to useless as an option when the light rail ran on an entirely separate ticketing system. That remains the case for casual commuters, but those on long-term tickets can at least now look up relevant connecting trams (even if they can’t look up anything else) from June 27, when the new arrangements kick in.
This change doesn’t alter my original criticism of the MyZone system — the lack of integration for anyone who isn’t buying long-term tickets such as the MyMulti, which makes public transport much less appealing (and much more expensive) for casual users. Also worth noting that the governmental recalcitrance behind the lack of Google integration seems unlikely to change in a hurry in NSW, given current attempts to streamline public transport administration. That streamlining should make the integration process easier in the long run, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
NSW Transport [PDF Press Release]