Who uses Bing? Almost nobody I suspect — it was found by mistake!
It looks pretty good. Most trips I’ve tried provide a good, solid, logical result.
There are some quirks, and I’ve shown one in the example above: in my testing of trips to the airport, I’ve found CBD connections are funny.
In one case it suggested I alight a train at Flinders Street, and catch a City Circle tram around the city to Latrobe/Spencer Streets (taking 32 minutes) then walk to the Southern Cross coach terminal. Then it suggested I change onto a V/Line bus to Heathcote and Barham, which does stop at the airport about once a day, but it’s a pick-up only stop, so technically passengers can’t alight there.
In the case above, it’s suggested I hop off the train at Flagstaff, walk a block, catch a bus to Southern Cross, then the Skybus (which it thinks is a train — if only!).
In both cases I suspect it’s minimised the walking involved, but has come up with a counter-intuitive result, the logical path being to catch the train to Southern Cross. The official PTV (then Metlink) planner had these kinds of issues in the early days.
However the V/Line bus problem might be a data issue, or an issue with interpretation of the data (as I’m told GTFS feeds do include provision for “pick up only” stops).
Nonetheless, as I said, for most trips it’s providing good results.
The same goes for Nokia Here — which also has the GTFS data loaded, and in brief testing, showed a more logical route to the airport.
Both are available for phones, so it’s possible to plan trips on the run. Various other lesser-known app providers have also loaded the data (for instance: Offi).
In my minimal testing, it appears Nokia Here uses a little less battery power on Android, and also doesn’t distract with all the other Bing search stuff I don’t need… though Nokia also has a lot of driving support that I can’t immediately see myself using.
I doubt many people will switch over to Bing or Here, but it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes Google to get its act together.
It’s good to see progress in this area — the release of the GTFS data has made it possible for PT trip planning to be more readily available to more people — without enduring PTV’s clunky apps and web site.