But the most interesting thing about Google Transit—the company’s catch-all name for its transit agency data feeds—may be what it says about the company’s politics. Simply put, Google thinks people should drive less. That’s why it has its own bus fleet for shuttling San Francisco-based employees to the Googleplex in Mountain View every day; that’s why it’s researching robot cars; and that’s why driving directions on Google Maps are now supplemented by walking and biking directions as well as public-transit schedules.
If Google engineers could manage it, they’d probably try to undo the last seven decades of urban sprawl. Short of that, they think making mass transportation more efficient is one of the best ways to curb traffic congestion and carbon emissions.