2007_08_arts_gsubway.jpg2007_08_arts_subwaygoogle.gifWhile even Google can't help out with the subway perv problem, Subway Blogger reports that they are "getting geared up to start mapping New York City Transit systems. Ultimately, you’ll be able to map a transit or subway route just like Google Maps."

Sure, there are resources like Hop Stop and OnNYTurf that may end up suffering (and Silicon Alley Insider points out their flaws), but this development was inevitable ever since Google launched their Transit feature. Bloomberg reports further on this, saying "with the Google Transit online trip planner, a user enters a start and end address or landmark and gets automated directions, including schedules and transfer points. Bus ridership in Duluth, Minnesota, increased 12 percent since the Google system was added to its Web site last year, said Tom Elwell, marketing director for the local transit authority."

Should we expect more crowded subway and bus rides after the launch? Who knows. Google can expect to pocket some serious ad revenue, however. Bloomberg reports that "U.S. companies spent about $922 million last year to place ads alongside local searches and maps, according to Kelsey Group Inc., a market research firm in Princeton, New Jersey. That will almost triple to $2.61 billion by 2011, the researcher says. Google probably got about $500 million in sales last year from local ads, or about 8 percent of its U.S. revenue of $6 billion, said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence in San Francisco." Maybe they can donate some of that dough to the MTA and keep mass transit fares down.