Sometimes Stupid Things Get Less Stupid

There’s been a lot of conflict, locally, with getting Fairfax Connector to provide data across the board with Google and other non-governmental route planning services. This has resulted in some frustration and odd outcomes for casual trip planning within Fairfax County and across jurisdictions.

For example, this is how Google Transit, which lacks FFC route information, tells me to get home from Tysons Corner:
Google_planner

And this is WMATA’s trip plan using Fairfax County services, taking barely more than half as long.

WMATA_planner

This risible state of affairs would be less irritating if WMATA’s route planning interface were more visual or intuitive, but I’m not holding my breath for that. Google et al., conversely, provide a relatively seamless and routinely updated visual route planning experience, but neither Veolia (which manages Fairfax Connector) nor the county would provide this data freely.

Apparently one of the possible reasons for this has been ongoing litigation. A “patent troll” for a similar service called ArrivalStar has sued dozens of transit agencies nationally; these suits were estopped following a countersuit by APTA and a settlement stopping the suits as a class-action is pending.

So now I have some faint hope I might be able to get a map of how to get myself to or from Reston (if I must) from wherever I am on a bus by the time the Silver Line opens.

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~ by J.D. Hammond on August 23, 2013.

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