Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Google Transit for Saskatoon: 18 Months and Counting

Last year, I blogged about the delays in rolling out Google Transit for Saskatoon.

This week I spotted another Star Phoenix article about an independent developer who created a mobile app for Saskatoon bus routes - by downloading each and every PDF from the City of Saskatoon's website and programming everything manually!
The company's sole programmer spent hours sorting through the city's transit route information, which is only available in large PDF files online. The summer was spent testing the app at different stops and locations throughout the city to make sure it was free of errors. (source)
The article also hints when we can expect Google Transit for Saskatoon:
Saskatoon Transit said more than a year ago that a more sophisticated route-planning tool would launch through Google Transit, but there have been delays, Riabko said. 
The Google Transit tool, which allows users to type in their address and get information on how to get from point A to point B, is in the testing phase and is expected to go live "very soon," he said. (source)
It's been 18 months since this service was announced! Since I moved to Montreal, the Google Transit service has been an indispensable tool for figuring out where I want to go. I haven't used Saskatoon's Click'n'Go for at least seven months, but I'm sure it's just as painful to use as always.

I am sure that Saskatoon can dramatically increase transit ridership once some functional tools exist for finding routes.