Will Transit Information Come to Apple Maps?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mobile maps have a lot of power to make transit a more attractive option for commuters. If people can get accurate information about their transit system on their smart phones then they are far more likely to trust and use those systems.

That's why Apple's announcement that it has purchased Hop Stop is such good news. Though Apple will neither confirm nor deny the reason for the purchase it seems likely that it would at least offer the tech giant the ability to offer this much-needed information to iPhone users.

Hop Stop looks up transit directions, maps, schedules, and nearby stations through its website as well as its Android and iOS apps. The company provides his data for 300 different cities and also offers city guides to its visitors. It would only make sense that Apple would buy the company to include this kind of information in its own Maps app, particularly as it would bring Apple maps just a little bit closer in competition to Google Maps, which already provides public transit information [in many cities].

Of course, in order for this to be truly good news, Apple has to fix the app itself, as it has been known to direct users to strange places. Google Maps could also stand to catch up by offering transit information in every city (they do not). 

It's also possible that Apple really does have another reason for the purchase. 

Still, any sign that transportation information is being treated like a priority is a positive one, and we look forward to seeing what happens next.