the Greater Montréal area is on the map!
Montréal, October 29, 2008 –Residents of the Greater Montréal area and visiting tourists can now access a new, user-friendly web tool, developed by Google and public transit companies operating in these urban areas, to help plan their commuting itinerary with public transit.
Easy to use, Google Maps determines commuting itineraries, including walking and transfer times, by analyzing the timetables data for planned services provided by Société de transport de Montréal (STM), Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), Société de transport de Laval (STL), Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) and by metropolitan Montréal-area CITs. It also estimates the cost of regular fare rides from one area to another, based on the chosen itinerary.
With only a few mouse clicks, the new metropolitan-area transit tool will suggest the three shortest itineraries using the bus, métro or commuter trains. Options allow users to specify their departure or arrival time, as well as the day of travel. Google Maps will also show the itinerary on a geographic map or with satellite images. Maps can be enhanced with databank pictures identifying various points of interest that are also linked to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.
Accessing Google Maps is easy: users must log on to www.google.ca, click on “Maps,” then on “Itinéraires” and enter their points of departure and destination. The search engine also includes hyperlinks to the respective websites of metropolitan transit organizing authorities (AOT). In turn, the Google search engine is accessible from those AOT websites. Moreover, Google has developed a microsite maps.google.ca/montreal (Will open in new window)"> http://maps.google.ca/montreal to help users with this new service.
“This partnership with Google is historic inasmuch as it positions Montréal as the first major French-speaking city to be featured by Google Maps,” declared Claude Trudel, chairman of the STM board. “This new information tool, drawing from Google’s renowned, proven technology and from the strong presence of public transit systems in the metropolitan Montréal area, will undoubtedly encourage the use of public transit by Montrealers and visitors alike. It also provides a perfect showcase to promote Montréal’s public transit systems around the world.”
For Joël Gauthier, AMT Chief Executive Officer, Google Maps offers much added value for public transit users. “This is a metropolitan first. All of the public transit providers worked together to produce an integrated tool to make public transit easier to use. With Google Maps, sorting through all of the available information and finding one’s way is now much easier. It is an indispensable navigation tool.”
“In the medium-term,” added Naomi Bilodeau, member of the Google Maps developement team, “our goal is to serve all major urban centres in Canada, as well as elsewhere in the world. We are very proud of this web tool and we believe it will greatly contribute to using all forms of public transportation.”
Since its introduction in December 2005, Google Maps has constantly expanded. It is indeed available in some 69 American cities, as well as in a few cities in Europe and Asia. In Canada, Vancouver, Fredericton and Ottawa are already featured.
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