Google Maps boosts public transportation data

Enhanced information isn't available for all cities yet, though.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
Improved transportation data in Zurich Google Maps

Google Maps' new Street View feature might be getting all the buzz these days (Hello, kitty) but that's not the only thing that's new with the popular online map application. On Monday, Google announced that Google Maps now has improved information about public transportation in many cities worldwide.

Subway stops, in addition to building outlines and car traffic data, first appeared on Google Maps in February. Now, the subway and train stops provide additional information: which lines are serviced by a particular station, a link to the Web site for the corresponding transportation company, as well as upcoming departure data.

But that last feature's still being rolled out: test runs of New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Montreal yielded only a link back to the public transportation system's main homepage. You can, however, find departure data in several European cities, like Zurich (as Mashable discovered). In addition, you can search for a particular station by typing it into Google Maps, and it'll direct you right there.

Expanded departure data in Zurich Google Maps
Only limited data available for NYC Google Maps

Google's uber-beta Labs also has been working on Google Transit, a trip-planning application that's currently available for a handful of U.S. cities (sorry, no NYC, Boston, or San Francisco) as well as all of Japan. That is, if you're O.K. with taking trip-planning recommendations from a company that suggests you swim across the Atlantic to get from New York to Paris.

Has anybody found a U.S. city that has departure data available yet? If so, let us know in the comments.