Extending the coverage of HERE Transit
By Pino Bonetti, May 8, 2013
HERE Transit is the fastest, easiest way to get anywhere by bus, train, subway and more. When you type in your destination you can quickly compare routes, departure and arrival times, and you can even find out how far you need to walk for each route option.
By pinning your frequent destinations to your start screen, you’ll find your way there from wherever you are with just a single tap. But how does HERE Transit actually work?
Analogously to HERE Maps and HERE Drive(+), with HERE Transit we want to cover all the transit systems in the world. 700 cities in 50 countries is a good start, but we aren’t stopping there, we are working hard to bring HERE Transit in more cities and urban areas.
To accomplish this challenging project, especially if we want to integrate detailed information about the route, such as departure times, we work with every single transit company out there. In the process, we have to take into account different aspects and variables.
Different countries have different approaches to transit systems: in China, busses usually run with a given frequency, but without a specific timetable; in Denmark, local trams and long-distance trains are all part of the same integrated system. Also the role mass transit is playing in people’s lives is very different from place to place and the systems have evolved accordingly. In this fun chart published by xkcd few weeks ago you can see that one third of North American transit stops are in NYC.
But even within the same city, we have to take into account differences between systems. Did you know that in only few NYC subway lines trains can provide their real-time location? And in London, many different transit agencies are involved to run buses, underground and other public transport systems.
So why don’t we just use, in some cases, the info openly available by these agencies?
It’s all about the reliability of the HERE Transit experience. If too many people are requesting transit routes in the same city, the free and open systems may quickly saturate and stop working. This is of course something we don’t want to happen to you, which is why we have particular agreements with the local transit agencies.
We work with every single agency so that you can enjoy a seamless journey experience with HERE Transit. For example the routes you get on HERE Transit are exactly the same routes and options you would get directly from your local transit agency. They know their routes best – so we just make sure to integrate the routes seamlessly to our platform.
Most importantly, no matter in which city you are, where HERE Transit is available, you can always count on the same experience. With coverage in over 700 cities in 50 countries around the world, you won’t need to download a separate local transit app every time you visit a new city. Also, thanks to the integration with HERE Maps, you can always know how to walk to the first stop on the route and from the last stop to your destination.