Shuttles in San Mateo County operated by Commute.org are open to the public, but until recently, if you weren’t an employee of one of the companies sponsoring the shuttle, it was difficult to discover whether a shuttle could take you somewhere you wanted to go. The most successful shuttle system on the Caltrain line, Stanford’s Marguerite, has been open to the public, with schedules in Google Transit for a while, but until it was rare to see shuttle connections when you planned a trip online.
This started changing over the summer, in a plan championed by Commute.org‘s new executive director, John Ford. Â The organization started a project get the data ready to go online on June 10, and were live on Google Maps on September 25 (you can see that a Google Maps search finds shuttle connections to East Menlo Park and a Brisbane office park by the Bay.) Â Schedules will soon be fully available on the Commute.org website and 511.org.
Commute.org (full name, Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance) runs 21 shuttle routes in San Mateo County, among other congestion relief programs. Â There are also other shuttlesÂ run by cities, private employers, and other sponsors. Â In the updated San Mateo County grant program for shuttles, the practice of providing schedule data for Google Transit and 511.org is expected to be included in the set of recommended marketing practices, but not made a condition for receiving grant funding. Â Being open to the public is a condition for grant funding.Â The more shuttles that can be open to the public with schedules integrated into popular online trip planners, the more useful the shuttles will be for first/last mile connections.
How often do you use Google transit or 511.org to plan trips? Have you ever used a shuttle on an ad hoc basis, because you found it on a Google Maps or 511 route search?