More on Google/WMATA

Metro Sign by tbridge

Two interesting things from the last 24 hours or so on WMATA and Google Transit that are worth another look. Yesterday morning, I got an email from Emeka Moneme, the Chief Administrative Officer of WMATA. It’s likely that I was on their list due to my signing the GGW petition encouraging Google Transit and WMATA to work together. There wasn’t much new in the email, but I found it interesting the way they concluded it:

“You may also wish to explore some of the ways that you can get real-time information and bus and rail schedules directly on your cell phone or Personal Digital Assistant through our Web site.”

Essentially, use our website, it’s the only place we actually trust. That’s where the other piece comes in. DCist’s Tom Lee wrote a great piece on Google & Metro last week, including some behind the screens conversations between himself and WMATA folks about this very issue. His analysis is top drawer and needs to be read in full, but comes down to: WMATA needs Money to make this a good idea. The figure bandied about by other publications is approximately $68,000. Which may sound like a lot, but in the grander scheme of things, it’s probably not. Great work, Tom, this was a great piece to read.

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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3 thoughts on “More on Google/WMATA

  1. Thanks for the kind words, Tom! I’m sympathetic to everyone’s frustration at what certainly *looks* like WMATA dragging its heels and/or deciding they can out-Google Google. I’m still optimistic that we’ll get Google Transit in DC in the near future, though. Next up: the return of NextBus.

  2. I think what gets my goat is the way this has all been publicly-handled. This isn’t about liability, it’s about money. If it’s really about money, then say it’s about money. It just looks like WMATA is hiding behind their lawyers saying “We don’ wanna!” and that’s what gets my goat about the whole thing.

  3. And saying “use our website” which is poor doesn’t really provide and answer. And stopping NextBus and not implementing text requests for it is just inexplicable – it was the most useful information service they ever had