Google and the New South Wales State Government have today announced that public transport directions in Sydney are now available through Google Maps.
The new Google Transit directions include train, bus and ferry services in Sydney. Previously, users of Google Maps searching for directions in Sydney only had the choice to drive, walk, cycle, or use the light rail service.
The launch of Google Transit in Sydney is a significant milestone given that Australian cities Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns and Perth already have the technology implemented and available to use for a number of years.
"We are listening to customers, and more people are turning to the internet and mobile phones to help them plan journeys, and it doesn’t get much easier than using Google Maps," said Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Minister for Transport.
"We also see this as an opportunity to attract new customers – with Google in NSW receiving almost 1 million location searches every day, we expect the tool to encourage people who don’t normally use public transport to give it a try."
The Google Transit system in Sydney is available to use through Google Maps on the desktop, as well as Google Maps applications on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Searching for transport directions defaults to the fastest trip, but users can select specific methods of transport if they wish.
Sydney is the 475th city worldwide to incorporate public transport information into Google Maps, with the service already long available in global destinations like New York, London and Hong Kong.
Transport for NSW, the organisation responsible for transport services and infrastructure, confirmed the Google Transit service is an "ongoing project". Future updates could include real-time service updates instead of weekly updates, as well as the locations of car parks, bike racks and lockers.
The announcement today is the second significant Google Maps upgrade in Sydney in the past month. Two weeks ago, Google added cycling directions for the maps users in Sydney.
Google Transit for Sydney is available now through Google Maps and is free to use.