Google Maps Now Offers Transit Directions in Israel

Google Transit, available in English, Hebrew and Arabic, provides bus and train route planning but does not give real-time updates.

Google announced Thursday morning the addition of a new service to its Google Maps application in Israel to allow users to plan trips on public transportation.

The new service, Google Transit, uses Google Maps on the Internet and the Google Maps application on iPhones and Android-equipped mobile devices. It is available in English, Hebrew and Arabic and uses data from 21 public transport operators, including Israel Railways. Google says the database includes more than 25,000 bus stops and 53 train stations across the country. Globally, the service provides information on more than a million stations in 800 cities.

Google Transit enters a crowded market that includes apps, such as Moovit and NetBus, that provide real-time updates on arrival times using data from GPS transmitters installed on buses and trains.

The new Google service lacks this real-time capability, but it does have the advantage of being factory-installed on all Android devices and on many iPhones. It also offers complementary navigation services for vehicles.

To use the new service:

Open the Google Maps app on your Android device or iPhone.
Press the arrow icon, and enter your start address and end address into the search field.
Press the bus icon and then press "get transit directions."
You can then view bus and train lines, travel times, routes and more.

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