Google has updated its Transit service, so people in Pittsburgh, Seattle, Eugene, Tampa, and Honolulu can now join Portland, Oregon in finding easy information on bus and train trips across town.

I tested the way the site works for Honolulu since I'm familiar with the bus system here. In short, Google Transit works well. Once you figure out the input system (you need to enter the city and state for the departure and destination addresses on the main page, which seems counter-intuitive for a search that covers one city's public transit system), Google Transit will show you a map with your route and bus stops marked. There's also a schedule of upcoming buses. It's pretty slick, even though my experience has been that buses don't really run on time. Other nifty features are estimated walking/riding times and ticket cost. If you check out the bus route and don't like the results, just click on the "drive there" button for driving directions. What would be really cool would be a way to input the type of car you have (or your average MPG) and the current cost of gas to get a "ticket price" for each drive. Sure, we can do this ourselves, but isn't it just easier to let Google do all our thinking for us?

[Source: Google via Treehugger]

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