An Open Letter to Google

Dear Google,

late_train.jpgHi. Boston here. You know, the city across the river from some of your offices. We were poking around the internet yesterday and found out that you’re planning to offer an online trip planning guide for New York City. We’d like to take some time to beg you to do the same for Boston, because we can’t handle the MBTA’s trip planner anymore.

You’ve already helped so many cities. Tampa. Portland, Oregon. Duluth, Minnesota. If it’s good enough for Duluth, Minnesota why can’t you come to Boston?

Google? Can we be frank? We need you.

The frustrating MBTA trip planner has us willing to contend with soul-sucking traffic instead of working with the interface on the T’s website that doesn’t understand our addresses. Last month, Universal Hub’s Adam Gaffin described his epic tangle with the program when trying to get to East Boston:

. . . I have no clue how to get to Central Square (which I learn from Wikipedia is the intersection of Bennington and Meridian streets). Naturally, I go to the MBTA trip planner and enter Forest Hills station as my starting point and “Central Square, East Boston” as my destination.

The T gives me an itinerary that sends me up to Wellington station to catch a bus to Central Avenue in Chelsea.

. . . I change my destination to “Bennington St, East Boston.” Now the planner gives me a bunch of options, including “Central Square (east Boston), E Boston”. Who in their right mind would type that to find directions?. . . So I go to Google Maps, enter “Bennington St. and Meridian St.,” see the square is a few blocks away from Maverick station and know how to get there.

Universal Hub is full of complaints from bloggers about the asinine directions the MBTA doles out. Please, Google, save us from getting to East Boston via Chelsea, or from Brookline to South Station via JFK/UMass. Help residents. Help tourists who don’t know that they shouldn’t trust anything the MBTA tells them. You are the way that most of us get our information anyway, so apply your efficient genius to our inefficient public transit.