Google Maps Adds Sydney Public Transport Directions (At Last!)

Sydneysiders rejoice! Google Maps has finally added public transport directions for buses, trains and ferries.

Search for directions between two Sydney addresses and you'll also be offered public transport directions where available, including the times of relevant services. The system will default to choosing the fastest trip, but you can click the 'More options' link and specify if you want train, bus, ferry or light rail. The search isn't rock-solid — it didn't always spot ferry trips in my early tests — but even in an imperfect form, this is a long-overdue addition. (Sydney has had directions for the light rail since 2009, but that's only a tiny part of the system.)

Sydney joins Adelaide (which has had the option since 2008), Perth (ditto), Canberra (2009) and Cairns (also 2009) in offering full public transport directions via Google Maps.

Brisbane promised to add the option in 2010, as did Melbourne last year, but it still hasn't happened. So OK, Melbourne and Brisbane state governments: time to step up. No more rubbish excuses about how data is hard to integrate; just make it happen.

Update: The official press release notes potential future enhancements for Sydney could include "real-time updates, locations of car parks, bike racks and lockers". I'd be dubious about real-time updates given that even existing platform indicators rarely get that information right.


    This is amazing news for someone who relies on public transport as much as I do. I actually fist pumped!

    They also have trams on google maps too, something that never did.

    Brilliant ! No longer will mon-o-rail be always suggested as the best route for any cbd trip.

      I still claim that for east-west trips like getting from Darling Harbour to Wynyard, it *is* the best route.

      Sad to see it go.

    This is great except the headline is askew, it should read: "Sydney public transport finally adds public transport to Google maps". As far as I know google simply provide an interface/API for anyone to upload such info to google maps.

    It's about time that Sydney opened that info up. Now I'm just waiting for Melbourne to do the same.

    why did this take so ridiculously long? stupid government.

    Yeah just to put it out there: Google wants to do this and had plans for it years ago. The government is the one who was slow. I have the transit info in Google now for SA in my phone and it is amazing

    Ah, so that's why I had a public transit card pop up in Google now this morning.

    In Brisbane's case - it's not Google's fault: It's Translink's (government authority for public transport) fault: They won't give up the data so that Google (or anyone else for that matter) can integrate it into products. It's dumb!

    Does this mean Google Now will start working with the Syd transport times?

      can't be worse than the current lot can they?

      I just checked - it does. You need to adjust your card setting to use public transport rather than driving.

      Thats what I'm interested it in. Haven't seen anything yet, but hoping it will start working in the next few days!

    Aww so no longer will a trip from darlinghurst to north sydney tell me to walk to pitt st, catch the monorail to darling harbour and then get a cab the rest of the way... at least it avoided the cross I suppose.

    Can Sydney-sides please report if it takes into account closures and delays next time that happens? (later today)

      It's not getting live data yet. The press conference this morning (you can bing for the reports of it) said thats a future thing.

    Newcastle? Anyone?

      Got Newcastle directions fine no problem when I just tried.

    Glad for the Sydney siders, can only hope Melbourne gets its act together soon. There is no excuse...

    It seems Sydney only has transit directions, rather than the full transit layer seen in Perth.

    Also Darwin has the public transport directions feature, and a handful of regional towns in WA have the full thing... yes, country towns are ahead of Brisbane and Melbourne! Never thought I'd see the day... shame the public transport options in those towns are at best limited.

    It would be nice if Sydney Buses re-opened access to bus GPS position data, at least then you'd know if the bus was actually on it's way (& worth waiting for) or has gone past 10 minutes ago & you you may as well walk.
    Finklabs used the data to give a real-time bus location map, but Sydney Buses must have felt embarassed by the truth and blocked access to their GPS data.

    Thanks for writing the article. :)

    Come on Translink!

    Obviously the people in Translink in Brisbane think they will keep their jobs longer if they keep this data out of Google Maps.

      It's a ploy to stop people from realising the buses run on time a lot less than 95% of the time, as they say they do...


    nice, wondering why the Google Now cards started appearing this morning.

    Thanks Jelly Bean!

    Posted at 7.15am? Does anyone else suspect that for the last 3 years, every morning Gus wakes up and checks "aww, still no public transport".


    yay, hopefully melbourne is next. i've been wanting for what seems like years!

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