I have been playing with the T’s new trip planner and overall I give it high marks. One thing that needs to be adjusted is the walk times which seem twice as long as they should be. ( and I’m not a fast walker ) In test runs I have made it seems to be giving the correct information of which routes to take and the travel times themselves seem accurate.
Under “Select Landmark Type” I would suggest a list of hotels that would make it easier for tourists and the list of “attractions” needs to be increased. For example it might be a good idea to include Fenway Park and TD Banknorth Garden to the list. However it shows great potential so let us see how they tweak it the next few weeks.
To get a better feel on the trip planner let us take a look at some other cities.
New York City just updated their trip planner and it doesn’t load maps unless asked. Please note that New York transit has a new web address http://www.mta.info/
Chicago’s doesn’t offer maps but offers consise info. Chicago is also testing bus tracking on the web and with a PDA. Chicago is using a company called Clever Devices for GPS which the T no longer uses as was explained here.
In the San Francisco Bay Area all the local transit options are combined at one site. The SF Muni also is giving real time info on select routes.
Washington Metro seems easy to use.
SEPTA in Philadelphia is simply awful but then again if you rode SEPTA you would never complain about the T ever again.
The trip planners in Los Angeles and Seattle
Toronto offers NOTHING in the way of online trip planning but that maybe better than Montréal which is very confusing
Point is let us give the T praise for at least trying to bring online trip planning to a new level. There is nothing else better out there at least in North America as of now.