Nicole and I just returned from a week in Chicago where we relied on public transportation exclusively–subway, bus, taxi, boardwalks and street walkways (shared bicycles were also an option). Our experience was glorious for many reasons including efficient, clean & timely transportation options, our Windows Phone apps for scheduling and tracking (GPS) our trips, and the cleanest large city I’ve ever explored.
Since that trip is fresh in my memory, I was excited to stumble across this announcement of a new app from Microsoft, the Bing Maps for Public Transportation. I can’t wait to try it out in Hampton Roads.
Let’s face it. Sometimes using public transportation can be a bit nerve wracking. Am I taking the fastest route? Will I miss my bus? How long will it take me walk to the nearest subway stop? This is especially true if you’re just in town for the weekend and particularly so if you’re not familiar with the local routes.
With our latest release of the Bing Maps Preview app for Windows (8.1) we set out to take some of the hassle out of public transportation. In select cities in the US, Canada and the UK, we are shipping a trial experience to see if you find this useful. Now you can plan your journey via bus, train or subway in a few short clicks. We’ll give you route options, estimated departure and arrival times overlaid on a beautiful maps experience. If the next bus is coming up in a couple of minutes, we’ll let you know that you need to start hustling to the stop.
Let’s take a look at how this works.
Say you are planning for an upcoming visit to New York City soon and want to find the quickest public transportation option from JFK airport to your hotel in Times Square. On your Windows 8 PC, simply pull up the transit experience within the app and enter the airport and destination. We’ll beautifully render a layout showcasing all the different options overlaid on a timeline. Now you can see how many transfers might be involved, how long the walk is to and from each stop and the overall travel time. Armed with this you can pick the best option for you. If you click into one of the listed options, you can learn more about the particular route – walking directions to your stop and estimated walk times.
Search for Directions & Compare Routes
To make it easier to plan your trip, we display the directions to the left of the map so you can see every turn, stop and transfer.
Later while sightseeing through New York, you may be at a café and planning on what to see next. On your Windows 8 tablet you can explore the city and how to get to your next destination. If you’re looking for stops nearby, simply pull up the “Nearby transit” view, which shows you the closest transit stops by distance, the trains and buses that they serve, and their schedules updated in real time so you know if your ride is late or on time. This is particularly handy if you’re exploring a new city or a part of town you’re not familiar with.
Search for Nearby Transit Routes
Search for Nearby Transit Stops
A Faster Way to Explore the Streets
Our Streetside imagery lets you explore places in extraordinary detail. We’ve given the experience a turbo-boost allowing you to move around within the experience more quickly. If you hover with your mouse over roads further away, Streetside icon changes to “running” clicking it will quickly take you to that portion of the road. We’ve also done work to ensure that labels now keep you informed at all times about the streets that you are navigating on. You also have greater control over how quickly you navigate the streets.
This alternate transit experience is initially available in the US, UK, and Canada. We’re excited to share the updates so head out to the Windows Store and download the bits for the Bing Maps Preview app. And please do provide feedback about this trial experience.
You can let us know what you think on Twitter (@BingMaps.)
Full article with pictures and full descriptions: http://blogs.bing.com/search/2014/09/10/get-around-town-faster-with-bing-maps-preview-app