CARTA transit trip directions can currently be obtained on Iphones and Ipads, as well as Android portable devices, Google maps and the CARTA website. However with the next OS 6 update, Apple will eliminate transit trip planning capability. They are doing this to avoid paying fees for map system usage to Google. As the world’s most popular maker or portable devices, tens of millions of riders with Apple Devices will lose the ability to easily plan their trips making transit work less well for everyone. You can tell Apple to retain transit planning capablity in OS6 today http://www.walkscore.com/
While some transit systems have third party apps available which will provide directions on Apple devices, the connection between the phone’s geolocation input, mapping functions and links to and from address information don’t always function as well as the mapping which is embedded in the OS. In the case of CARTA, transit information has been provided only to Google and not to these other vendors. Weather CARTA should port it’s transit DATA to other Apple application providers is a complex one based on cost, compatibility and end user functionality in the app.
If you are planning to purchase mobile devices, the implementation of transit directions on Google, Chrome and Android devices is superior to that available on Apple devices. (I own both an Adroid Phone and Ipad.) Google based mapping is generally superior to what Apple or Bing (Microsoft’s mapping product) provides now. However transit on Apple as it currently exists is useful and functional. Comparison of mobile map applications.
CARTA is preparing an update to its online transit mapping for mid summer which will include information on the #402 Bus to the Beach, the new express service to Boeing and other updates. In a few months the system will reflect real time bus location and speed input to transform CARTA trip planning from a schedule bases system to a system which reflects current system status and updates transfer and connetion options accordingly, in real time. The system will be able to tell you where your bus is, the time it is due at your stop and your final ETA, updated as conditions on the road evolve.
You can read full background on this issue at Tell Apple Transit Matters. Here is another article with background on the struggle between Google and Apple and how that impacts this issue. Apple “Misuses” Transit Riders
The Hungryneck Straphangers will be active on this issue until it is resolved and is considering a demonstration at the Apple Store on King Street in response to the problem. Well continue to network with other transit organizations across the US on this important issue. Please check back for updates.
Meanwhile, continue to enjoy full CARTA trip planning capability on all platforms, including the free included mapping application for Android and the Iphone. Just find your destination in the mapping app, request directions, tap the bus Icon and then directions. It’s easy and a huge improvement over struggling with paper schedules. Show this to yoru friends and other riders to help improve the transit experience for everyone. For a video tutorial on how it works see Using Google Transit