Culture

IT FINALLY HAPPENED: Melbourne Now Has Public Transport Info On Google Maps

The most liveable city in the world is now entering the 21st century.

[Update: March 23 2016]: It’s been one week shy of a full year since the plan was first announced, but Melbourne can now access public transport info via Google Maps like pretty much every other major city in the world.

The news is about to be officially announced at a press conference by Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allen. I can’t imagine her saying much more than “Look, I’m sorry. Please stop bugging me now.”

For some reason, Melbourne was suspiciously absent from the meeting years ago where every other major city in the country decided to helpfully put their public transport info on Google Maps.

Travelling from Sydney Zoo to the Opera House? Google has you sorted. You gotta get from Brisbane Museum to the Gabba? BAM. It’s done. Wanna know the best way from the Queen Victoria Markets to St Kilda? You’re on your own. All our good restaurants don’t have signs on them and we build our bars at the end of abandoned laneways; does it look like we give a shit about your trip to the beach?

But now, all that’s changed. Overnight, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that he’s finally released all the state’s public transport timetable data, which means Google Maps will actually be helpful for once.

This has been a long time coming. Melbourne has been deemed the world’s most liveable city; it boasts free public transport in the CBD, a sensible and well-planned city grid, and the nation’s biggest tram network. But in that same list of the world’s best cities, Melbourne is the only one to not have its goddamn train data in Google Maps.

Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Adelaide, Calgary, Helsinki, Perth, Auckland, and Sydney. All of them beat Melbourne in this small, but incredibly important way.

While this move will allow tourists to better plan their trips via Google Maps, it will also mean locals can start using apps other than PTV or TramTracker. Unless of course, you’d like to keep using them for nostalgia or irony, in which case I wish you the best of luck.