TreeHugger is a big fan of utilizing public transportation, whenever and wherever it's feasible. One of the roadblocks to successful public transit is the planning and route-finding element, especially on when you're on the go or without a laptop and wi-fi hotspot. We mentioned Google Transit when it first launched; at the time, it was only available in Portland, OR, and has since expanded to a smattering of other cities in the US (including Seattle, three in southern California, Pittsburgh, PA, Reno, NV, Austin, TX, Duluth, MN, Tampa, FL, Honolulu, HI and Eugene, OR) as well as rail, ferries and domestic air travel in Japan. Conspicuously absent are some of the larger cities in the States, especially on the east coast.
Enter HopStop.com, an online transit guide that offers trip planning services for bus or subway in New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. They offer directions, maps, city guides to help you figure out what to do when you get off the train or bus, and an opportunity to rate your trip for timeliness, safety, cleanliness and comfort. To help with planning on the go, in addition to their traditional online service, HopStop also offers two forms of mobile service for those without computer or PDA access; either send them a text message of where you want to go, or call them up and say the address, and they'll send directions back to your phone (note that the call service option only works in Manhattan). Between HopStop and Google Transit, it's easier than ever (and getting ever easier) to get help and get around via public transportation. The more, the merrier! ::HopStop via ::Gristmill and more at ::How to Green Your Public Transportation