Phoenix Valley Metro Routes Schedule on Google Transit sign now

To,

1. Debbie Cotton, Director of Phoenix Public Transit
2. Elaine Scruggs, Chair of the Valley Metro Board of Directors
3. Wayne Ecton, Vice-chair of the Valley Metro Board of Directors
4. Members of the Valley Metro Board
5. Valley Metro of Phoenix Area


Hello,

We, the residents of the Phoenix area, urge you to make the bus and train routes information from Valley Metro available on Google Transit.

Google Transit (http://google.com/transit) gives directions from one place to another using trains and buses, shows you different routes and the schedules for each, and displays your route on the extremely slick and useful Google online maps. Google also makes all this information available on-the-go, using its maps application on many modern cell phones. All a transit agency has to do is send their schedule data in a specific format and sign an agreement with Google. And it's free to transit agencies and consumers.

NINETY-ONE (91) U.S. transit agencies are part of Google Transit, from coast to coast, including the transit agencies of Portland, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area on the West to Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, to Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New York City and New Jersey State Transit on the East. But Valley Metro's bus and train routes are missing!

We have heard that Valley Metro's IT Department has the route data files ready to ship to Google at the click of a mouse button. However, they are not receiving permission from the Phoenix city officials to share this information with Google. This is not a helpful action on the part of the city officials. The easier it is for people to find out about their transit options, the more people will ride transit. Keeping the data restricted, for whatever reasons, only hurts riders.

Valley Metro has a Web site and a trip planner, which are both useful. However, Google's enormous expertise building easy-to-use Web sites, and its legions of talented programmers, mean that Google Transit can add new features much faster than Valley Metro ever could. Valley Metro's core competency is running a public transit service, which it performs quite well; Google's is building Web sites.

Furthermore, many transit agencies from Seattle to New York City have released the schedule data in the open-source Google Transit format so that other software developers can create even greater innovations. DC's recent Apps for Democracy (http://www.appsfordemocracy.org/) contest showed some of the many creative sites people built using DC's data feeds. We may not know about the next great innovation that will help even more people utilize transit. By releasing the data, we can empower those future innovators to the benefit of Valley Metro and everyone in the Valley of the Sun.

We urge you to permit the sharing of Valley Metro's route data with Google Transit. Valley Metro should help increase transit ridership and bring our region into the 21st century by releasing schedule data to Google Transit and publicly for the innovators of the future.

Kindly help us.

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Yesenia ManningBy:
AnimalsIn:
Petition target:
Phoenix Public Transit and Valley Metro

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