Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Making public transportation easier - an application idea

Tonight I tried helping my sister to figure out how she could get to Jerusalem, in the middle of the night, through public transportation.
For my non-Israeli readers - in Israel there is one major inter-city bus company (Egged) with a few minor ones. Egged also has most intra-city busses, except for Tel-Aviv where it's the Dan company. For inter-city traveling there is also an ever-growing train company. There are no subways of any kind. Most information for these companies is available online.
Now, from where she is, there are several ways to travel to Jerusalem (mainly Afula, Haifa, Tel-Aviv). The thing is - how do you find the best path?
All these companies provide a means to retrieve very straight-forward information. For example, given a bus number - show me the hours of departure. Or given a source and destination. However, none help you actually plan the trip, when you need more than one means of transportation. Let's not even speak of plans that include both busses and trains.
The thing is that it should be fairly easy to do it - there are relatively few companies (2 main ones), all providing an online search form. Writing such an application shouldn't be complicated, and would obviously help a lot of people.

Just an idea...

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