Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Google Transit now available for all U-M bus routes

Parking & Transportation Services has partnered with Google Transit to make it easier than ever for campus commuters to plan trips using public transportation.

Google Transit is a free, online public transportation-planning feature of Google Maps. It integrates transit stop, route and schedule information to make trip planning more efficient.

"All university bus stop and route information has been added to the system," said Keith Johnson, associate director of PTS. "We are always looking for new ways to improve our commuter experience by providing riders convenient access to our system, along with the ability to combine trips between U-M and AATA buses to get where they need to be — on or off campus."

Faculty, staff and students can begin their trip planning by going to the Google Transit Planner and entering their destination.

For example, if an employee working near the Michigan Union needs to get to a doctor's appointment at the East Ann Arbor Health Center at 2 p.m., he would simply enter his destination, the time by which he needs to arrive and then click " get directions" using public transportation. The employee would be provided with step-by-step directions for the trip including the shortest distance, specific bus routes and pick-up times.

The system also provides users with walking directions to reach their destination once they get off a bus, and provides street views of their route, in addition to a map.

PTS is the fifth agency in Michigan to partner with Google Transit. Currently, there are more than 500 cities worldwide that make their information available in Google Transit.

Google Transit does not provide real-time bus arrival information. Bus passengers looking to track live arrival time should continue to use the "Magic Bus" system.

PTS officials also noted there are a number of other convenient ways for commuters to get to or around town, including:

• Park at one of these commuter lots and take a U-M bus to campus: NC91 Lot (NCRC near Hubbard Street & Hayward Avenue) or the SC7 Crisler Center lot (Kipke Drive). Doing so would allow one to save money by exchanging a Blue parking permit for an Orange permit.

• Zimride: This ride-matching/ride-sharing service is free and confidential. Need a ride? Post your ride. Have a car and looking to share the ride? Post your ride. Let Zimride find your matches.

• Vanpooling: University-subsidized vans allow riders to share the cost of gasoline while riding to work. The program is open to all U-M employees who can ride the van at least four days a week.

• Zipcar: This car-sharing service provides 24/7 access to 22 Zipcars parked on campus in eight convenient locations, in addition to seven cars in four locations in downtown Ann Arbor. Zipcars rent for $8.50 per hour (weekdays), $9.50 per hour (weekends), $63 per day (Monday-Thursday) $65 per day (Friday-Sunday), gas and insurance included. Apply for Zipcar membership.