Some stories you may have missed last week: Here’s why Google doesn’t always know the best way to the airport, DART teams with Lyft to test on-demand paratransit, and LA Metro launches etiquette campaign with YouTube star.
CityLab asked why Google Maps doesn’t always know the best way to get to the airport via transit. The answer is pretty simple: Many of the companies that operate airport shuttles are not familiar with the process of uploading route and schedule files into the Google mapping application, and some have not converted those files into the required General Transit Feed Specification format. Google doesn’t generally invite transportation providers to participate, and just posting a GTFS file online isn’t enough. Transportation operators must actively initiate the process to include their service information in Google Maps. (It worth noting that Bing does not have this requirement.) Until that situation is remedied, Rob Pegoraro writes, “your best source for transit directions to or from an airport might just be the airport’s own site.” Link to full story in CityLab.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (TX) and its paratransit subcontractor MV Transportation have teamed up with Lyft to test on-demand services for seniors and people with disabilities. To date, 160 customers have signed up, and the program has been most popular among passengers with visual impairments. Scheduling vehicles that can accommodate wheelchairs has been a challenge, said Tammy Haenftling, assistant vice president for paratransit management services. “This is a pilot, and it’s not perfect,” said Haenftling. “There are shortcomings, mostly because we don’ t have the same ability to offer the service to people that need accessible vehicles. But we have to start somewhere.” The pilot will continue on a month-to-month basis and is currently free for passengers. Link to full story in the Dallas Morning News.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CA) recently launched Metro Manners, an etiquette campaign that features YouTube star Anna Akana. Metro teamed with production studio Lord Danger and director Mike Diva to develop the campaign, which features pop songs and uses a Japanese visual style. Akana plays the singing heroine Super Kind who tangles with Rude Dude over breaches of etiquette. “We put a lot of effort into these videos in hopes they would be seen by a ton of people, including most of our riders,” writes Anna Chen in The Source, Metro’s blog. “To a large extent, it’s up to you, dear riders, to help us make going Metro a more pleasant and comfortable experience.” View the videos on YouTube.
Photo source: Lord Danger