Spacing and our friends at Torontoist have learned that the TTC is finally set to launch their trip planner within the next two weeks, and possibly as early as next week. The much-needed and long-awaited web-based feature will be available from the TTC’s web site (ttc.ca), but a specific application for mobile devices like the iPhone or BlackBerry is still months away from public release. In order to use the trip planner while on-the-go, riders will have to access it through a web browser on their phone.
The trip planner will work in the same way as Google Maps, but with selected TTC bus, streetcar and subway routes. The length of the transit trip will be listed while riders will also be able to add or remove specific types of transit (ie, subway and streetcar only).
The trip planner was originally projected to be released in the late summer of 2009 and is being added at an additional cost to the main site’s development. From our June 2008 post I wrote, “The trip planner will be available as a beta version in early 2009, with fully functional planner ready for June 2009. TTC staff indicated that the data for a trip planner has taken much longer to implement than anticipated.”
For a little bit of background as to why this is slightly exciting: Back in January 2007, Spacing teamed up with Torontoist, BlogTO, Reading Toronto, and our thousands of combined readers to force the TTC to withdraw a web site development request-for-proposal that was highly-flawed (for example, it did not include a trip planner).
Each blog solicited ideas from it’s readers asking what they thought the TTC needed to do to improve it’s web site. A fat stack of print outs was submitted to the TTC as part of the public consultation process. A few months late a new RFP went out, and a large portion of our requests were included. the TTC’s current web site was made public in June 2008.
Editor’s Note: the reason why this post leads with “Spacing and our friends at Torontoist have learned…” is because we learned about it at the same time, and decided not to race each other to see who could publish it first.