Google Transit: A Step in the Right Direction
The Official Google Blog last Friday contained a very interesting piece from the product manager for Google Maps all about a service called Google Transit. The article was about Washington but when you click through there are many cities covered internationally as well as in North America. So what does it do? It adds the ability to plan your commute or shopping trip in some detail by including public transport route information such as bus route numbers, connections and stops, telling you where to change and where to walk and so on. The information is added in conjunction with the local transport authority. The product can also add in live traffic updates. My view is that the next step from this point could be to add in the ability buy tickets for the journey you've just planned out on your mobile. Juniper's latest forecasts reveal that there is a large market out there worldwide for transport mobile ticketing. It's quite an obvious next step in many ways. If you look at Google's activities in the NFC space then adding in ticket purchase functionality would add to the "making life easier" objective.