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March 1, 2010 | 8 Comments

TripFinder Back for Limited Time On Metrostlouis.org

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We heard you loud and clear: Many people expressed frustration in the change from TripFinder to Google Transit as Metro’s trip-planning software. We know there are a lot of Google Transit fans out there as well, but some of you were more comfortable with TripFinder or preferred some of its features. So for a limited time, TripFinder will be available online for Metro Transit online trip planning.

However, TripFinder will be phased out. We’ve decided to embrace Google Transit in the future for several reasons, including Google’s free licensing policy, its visual schematic, its ease of integration with other online applications (you can post it to your blog, e-mail, etc.) and its use on mobile phones. But we want to make the transition as smooth as possible. Some differences do exist between TripFinder and Google Transit as trip planning applications, and there are positive and negative aspects to both. We will, however, use all of the feedback that you have provided on the blog and to Customer Service to create a series of tutorials on the use and features of Google Transit to help make this transition easier and more convenient. But in the meantime, we want our riders to be able to find their way on transit.

Steps Moving Forward

1. TripFinder link will be available on home page of www.metrostlouis.org.

2. Communications, Customer Service and IT will create a list of complaints and concerns regarding the use of Google Transit.

3. Nextstop will present a list of uses and features to highlight during tutorials for readers’ review and comment.

4. Online video and written tutorials will be created and placed online.

5. Tutorials will be open to feedback and review.

6. TripFinder will be phased out within several months. We will keep you posted on the exact date.

We suggest trying to use both trip planning applications to compare and learn, and please continue to give us feedback. Look for tutorials on how to use Google Transit and its applications in the near future!

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Categories:
Technology, Transit Benefits

8 thoughts on “TripFinder Back for Limited Time On Metrostlouis.org”

  1. One of the nice thing about Tripfinder that I miss – less typing. On Metro’s website, if I just put in my street number and name and click “Go,” Google asks me whether I meant the address in St. Louis or the one in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Needless to say this never happened with Tripfinder! Maybe the form could be programmed to automatically append a “St. Louis, MO” to every address. I suspect that would work from Google’s perspective, if it’s possible.

  2. Mike Baldwin says:

    I would be lost without Google Maps/transit information. I am constantly helping others at bus stops and on the bus with figuring out the best route for them from my Iphone. Real time info would help make the service better, so you don’t stand around wondering if the bus is really coming or you just missed it because it was early.

    Great work.

  3. Bob says:

    If Tripfinder or something very similar goes away so will my support for the Metro. I can get my route in minutes with Tripfinder and quickly get variations on routes. With the Google thing it takes forever to figure out a route. If you put in an address it should only provide results for the St. Louis area. I really don’t think I can take the 49 bus to another state. Google transit is awful, awful, awful. And not all of us have I-phones or ever want to own one. I have actually contemplated giving up on the Metro completely and getting a car because of the frustration of Google transit. Takes me twice as long to map out a trip than it would to drive it.

    1. Paul says:

      Bob,

      Are you planning your itinerary from the widget on our home page or are you going directly to the basic Google Transit page? Please post back and let me know so I can troubleshoot.

  4. Bob says:

    I wonder if any of the people that decided to switch from Tripfinder to Google transit even use the Metro (train and buses) regularly.

    Things I love about trip finder:

    1) fast
    2) can switch destinations easily
    3) can find earlier or later routes in seconds
    4) only provides data for the St. Louis region (as I said above)

    I wonder how much money google is providing for the switch.
    I’m sure there is some kind of contract that requires Metro
    to get rid of Tripfinder.

    1. Courtney says:

      Bob,

      The decision to introduce Google Transit was based largely on rider feedback, people calling in and asking for Google Transit. Both trip planners have pros and cons, but both provide good, fast trip planning. The widget that we provide on http://www.metrostlouis.org is keyed to the St. Louis area. You do not have to enter zip code data there to enter start and end destinations. If you go to the regular Google Transit site you will have to enter the zip code or city info because like Google Maps, it covers pretty much the entire world. We know that people are having problems getting used to the features in Google Transit (you can switch destinations easily, and find earlier or later routes), and we are working on a tutorial that will explain all of its features. We do think it is a great service, but we also want people to feel comfortable trying to use it.

  5. Julie says:

    The only problem I have with Google Transit is that it doesn’t give me the options I want.

    When I type in UMSL to my home address, I am basically just trying to get an estimate in the time I should head out for it, but instead it gives me an entirely different route with a different bus than the one I use, and I am set in my ways and don’t want to test out different routes.

    Is there anyway to get more bus options besides just the 3 offered?

  6. Bob says:

    I just typed in From: Manchester & Brentwood St. Louis MO To: Manchester & Lindbergh St. Louis MO and got a map for Manchester England … from the Metro Site.

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