Steamboat gets information about the free bus on Google Maps
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Anyone trying to figure out how to use public transportation to get around Steamboat Springs can now just Google it.
Bus routes, schedules, bus stop locations are among the information that Steamboat Springs Transit has programmed into Google Maps.
“Overall, I’m just really pleased to have this up and running,” Steamboat Transit Manager Jonathan Flint said.
Many residents and visitors without cars rely on the city’s free bus system, which carried more than 1.1 million riders in 2017.
The information on Google Maps will be especially useful for those who are visiting Steamboat for the first time and are unfamiliar with the public transit system.
“It’s an easy, universal way for people from anywhere to use to get around, and it’s free,” Transit Operations Supervisor Tyler Kern said.
Google Maps will also link to the city’s real-time bus information.
It took seven months for the city to program its routes into Google.
“It started out as, ‘this will be a really simple project,’” Flint said.
But, not even Google is perfect.
For example, Google does not recognize there is a roundabout near Walgreens.
Google also thought it was strange one of the city’s bus routes goes through the Routt County Justice Center parking lot.
The city believed is was important to work through all the bugs because they know there is a high demand for information about the free bus.
Using smart phones and other technology, the city believes it received 1 million hits in February on its website and RouteShout mobile application, where routes and real-time bus tracking is available.
“That really surprised me that it was that high,” Flint said.
Flint said the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies has been encouraging public transportation providers to get the information on Google.
“This is sort of the new universal language,” Kern said.
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