Tech-savvy commuters now have the power of a easy-to-use journey planner at their fingertips with data for ACTION Buses going live on the Google Transit website.

The website, which is also available via the Google Maps smartphone application, allows users to enter a destination and have Google tell them the best way to get there – either by driving, walking or using public transportation. Whilst the service has been available for some time, it has only recently rolled out in Canberra.

With the ACTION website lacking a journey planner and having no mobile application to speak of, the Google Transit system will be of great use to commuters on the go, or those who like to plan ahead.

For example – we entered Kambah Village (Marconi Crescent) as our commencement point and Amy Ackman Street in Forde as our destination into Google Transit. Given this article is being composed after 9.30pm, only two options remain for today.

The first option is taking Routes 62, 300, 50 and 59. It will take around 91 minutes to complete the journey. The second option gives Routes 60, 300 and 58, with a bit of a walk at each end, the total time is 132 minutes.

Upon selecting an option you are given step by step details – where to walk to your bus stop and how long it will take, the duration you will spend on each bus and how many bus stops are along it, and even how long of a transfer time you will have between buses at the Bus Station. In option one, we have a seven minute window at City Bus Station to swap between the 300 and the 50.

As a commuter – this is exactly what Canberra has been lacking in. The ability to quickly grab your smartphone, tell it where you need to go and have it give you step by step bus information is fantastic. GPS means you don’t even need to know where you actually are.

We’d love to hear your experiences with the system – tweet @actbus, or discuss this topic at our forum.

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