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Amtrak Partners with Google Transit

US.WEBTRAINS.NET
08/27/2009 AT 07:16

The Amtrak/Google Transit partnership supports Amtrak's corporate goals to promote connectivity among transportation systems, provide passengers with a seamless transportation experience, and work with state partners to grow public transportation.

"Google Transit offers Amtrak's passengers a valuable travel planning tool while introducing rail travel to a whole new audience," said Matt Hardison, Amtrak's chief of Sales Distribution and Customer Service. "We are always looking for new and innovative ways to serve our customers, and by guiding our customers to a transit-friendly way to connect to and travel by Amtrak, this partnership does just that."

Google Transit provides travelers public transportation connections when planning a trip in more than 400 cities. Through the Trip Planner, users receive step-by-step transit directions, details on transit stations in their area and schedules. By adding Amtrak to the mix, travelers now have expanded transportation options.

"We are pleased to welcome Amtrak to Google Transit," said Jessica Wei, Strategic Partner Development Manager at Google. "This partnership shows Amtrak's commitment to innovating, serving their passengers, and attracting new riders. We're looking forward to continuing to work with Amtrak to add more routes to Google Maps."

Plans call for all Amtrak routes across the country to eventually be available through Google Transit. The first five routes now available include:
- Empire Service (New York - Albany - Buffalo - Niagara Falls)
- Ethan Allen Express (New York - Albany - Rutland)
- Hiawatha Service (Chicago - Milwaukee)
- acific Surfliner (San Diego - Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - San Luis Obispo)
- San Joaquin (Oakland - Sacramento - Fresno - Bakersfield)

When queried, the Google Transit Trip Planner provides users with up to three different transit- and rail-based options to get to their destination. Included is the amount of time each option will take, the number and mode of transfers and walking directions from the train station to the destination. If Amtrak is an option, a link to Amtrak.com will appear so users may make a train reservation. Street view imagery provides travelers with ground-level images of their route, in addition to a map. Query results also provide users information for transferring from Amtrak to the local transit system.

The Google Transit Trip Planner also provides users who request driving directions a detailed route which includes travel on Amtrak, if appropriate. Alongside the driving directions is a link offering public transportation as an alternative. In this way, travelers who may not have previously considered public transportation can investigate Amtrak as an option.

Google Transit is also accessible through any Java-enabled hand-held device, putting Amtrak schedules at users' fingertips. Queries made on hand-held devices also include a link to Amtrak.com, allowing users to make a reservation. Further, the Trip Planner supports 40-plus languages and provides access for the visually impaired through an output that is compatible with screen readers. A tutorial of Google Transit is available at http://maps.google.com/help/maps/transit/.

In addition, Amtrak continues to use the funds it received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve the service it provides. That includes using $400,000 of ARRA funds to automate the process of compiling electronic Amtrak schedules that can be shared with Google Transit.

Second Cascades Train between Seattle-Vancouver

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Province of British Columbia and Amtrak announced today that the long awaited second daily Amtrak Cascades train between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. will begin service on Wednesday.

81 Railcars and 15 Locomotives Being Rehabilitated

Amtrak unveiled the first of 81 passenger rail cars to be removed from storage, restored to good condition, and returned to service as part of a program to add seating capacity to trains across its national system using funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Lancaster Train Station Renovation Begins

Keystone Corridor passengers who use the Lancaster train station will find it much improved and more accessible and comfortable as a result of a major $12 million renovation project now getting underway.

Amtrak Lionel Kid's Essay Contest 10th Anniversary

Children age 12 and under who ride Amtrak's western trains can win a Lionel toy train set by describing what they like about riding on the train as part of the 10th annual Amtrak Lionel Kid's Essay Contest.

Save on Summer Travel with Amtrak

Amtrak will make that summer trip affordable with new, lower fares including 25 percent off the lowest published coach fare ont Northeast Regional service between Washington, DC, New York, and Boston and extending the current lower fares on Acela Express.

30th Anniversary of Crescent Service

Amtrak will commemorate the 30th anniversary of their operation of the historic Crescent service as part of National Train Day on May 9th with a special event in New Orleans, and smaller events at stops along the train's route in Atlanta, and Meridian and Hattiesburg, Miss.

Amtrak Details Stimulus Projects

Amtrak has released a list of capital projects to be funded by $1.3 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

10 Years of Service in Pacific Northwest

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Amtrak and the Oregon Department of Transportation are celebrating 10 years of Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service in the Pacific Northwest (Eugene, Ore. to Vancouver, B.C.).

$6 Million for Track Improvements from Kansas City

Motorists will spend less time at crossings waiting for trains to pass as a result of more than $6 million in track improvements made by Union Pacific Railroad to its Kansas City to Jefferson City line. The track improvements will allow trains to operate more efficiently on the route.

All Aboard Amtrak's Santa Trains

Amtrak and Santa invite kids of all ages to welcome the holiday season on Saturday, December 6 with a festive ride on one of North Carolina's Santa Trains, traveling from Charlotte and Raleigh. Jolly Ole St. Nick will greet all passengers with holiday treats.

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