A real time result! – Metlink data enables Google to display real time and service information

Metlink customers across the region are now able to track the location of their bus and train on Google Maps with service based information such as delays, closed stops and cancellations displayed when passengers plan their journeys.

For Metlink customers, the most notable feature to come out of this development, another real time tracking tool. Previously, customers were able to get an estimate of their bus and train based on the scheduled timetable. Using Google maps, customers can now track their bus and train in real time.

Metlink General Manager, Scott Gallacher, believes it’s a big win for passengers from out of town who may not be familiar with Metlink’s own app and website. “We recognise that public transport users are becoming savvier with technology as it continues to evolve. We are thrilled to harness that evolution and provide our passengers with a new addition to our ever-growing and improving suite of tools for planning, tracking and staying up to date with their journeys.

Andrew Myers, Data and Technology Lead at Greater Wellington says it’s a significant achievement for customers.

“We’ve been working with Google to refine and enhance our feed so it works seamlessly with their services. It’s gone through a rigorous testing regime, including Google’s own backend portal which requires around 80 individual components to be checked”.

Metlink’s open data launch in February this year has been the catalyst for this development, side-lining the need for developers to submit an official submission for its data and resulting in over 100 million requests a month.

“It really has all been made possible thanks to our open data portal and the interest we’ve had in using our data. It’s exciting for us because it promotes even further 3rd party innovation from our community”, adds Andrew.

The feed for Google may have just begun, but Metlink is already looking for a second byte of the data cherry which excites Andrew.

“We’re working on adding a live patronage feature in the near future so customers can see how busy their bus and train is at a certain times. It’s a great time for growth within this space so we’ve got to take advantage of that value for our customers”.

Customers wishing to plan their Metlink journey within Google Maps can simply visit http://maps.google.com(external link) and plan a journey as usual.