Monday, September 14, 2009

Beer Summit Needed for Metro & Google

I ran the Arlington 9/11 5K a couple of weekends ago. Posted my worst time ever, but given the late summer heat, satisfied to have managed to run the whole thing.

Given Metro's track work, I was looking for an alternative way to get to the Pentagon. I went to Google and looked at the driving route, then changed the method of travel to "public transit." Google told me my search "appears to be outside our current coverage area."

When I looked at their map of participating public transit agencies, I noticed that the DC area looks like it has a spotlight on it. But the light is actually a blackout -- an area that isn't covered by Google's public transit search (and it does include the District).

Over at, Michael Perkins has been tracking a prolonged back-and-forth between Google and Metro on this issue. At last check, Metro claimed to be studying the issue while claiming is just as good as Google Maps, which is like claiming Hardee's is just as good as Ray's Hell Burger.

Yes, I know Metro is trying to get revenue anywhere it can. And yes, I know profit margins for online businesses like Google can be razor-thin.

But from what I've seen so far, this seems like a classic case of the public interest coming in last. Can't someone lock Metro and Google in a room and not let them out until they solve this?

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