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.)
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.