Google Transit Graduates, Gets Wrapped Into Maps

    October 4, 2007

Saving people’s time, money, and the environment, it’s Google Transit to the rescue!  Only the service appears to have left on its Clark Kent glasses – despite officially graduating from Google Labs, the words “Labs” remains on its homepage.

Google Transit Graduates, Gets Wrapped Into Maps
Google Transit Graduates, Gets Wrapped Into Maps

Oh, well.  You can’t ask for everything, and in this case, that includes widespread coverage – Google Transit is aware of routes in only ten American states.  Christoph Oehler, a product manager, promises, “We’re still working hard to make Google Transit useful for as many people as possible, and we’ll keep you posted as we add new regions.”

And if you can get past those minor problems, this truly is a positive development.  Google Transit’s departure from Google Labs involves an integration with Google Maps – now, some people will get a clickable option to “Take Public Transit” as they plan routes.  As always, distances and elapsed times are measured, and in some cases, there’s even a driving-versus-transit cost comparison.

So, yes – Google Transit is good, and it’s nice to see it leave Google Labs.  The move may have (slightly) bigger implications, though.

In the past month, we’ve seen both Google Reader and GOOG-411 graduate from Google Labs.  With Google Transit following close behind, it’s hard not to detect a trend.  This may just be a matter of re-labeling – no dramatic changes or upgrades accompanied any of the moves – but it still looks like evidence of Google growing up.

It’s almost enough to make you wonder if the “beta” label will get dropped off Gmail at some point.