This would be like Google Maps or MapQuest, but it would find directions using Public Transportation routes instead of automobile routes. It would have electronic links to the routes and schedules of buses, trains, and cabs all over the country.
The merits of using public transportation are many: less congestion on roadways, lower carbon emissions and fuel consumption, energy independence, etc; but navigating the various systems can be very challenging - especially for newbies and out-of-towners. A universal, nationwide interface to tie it together would certainly be a boon. Such a web service could be programmed into a mobile/iphone application for greater convenience. The web service could generate revenue by linking to advertisements and listings for local restaurants and establishments along the routes on which people are finding directions.
This is an idea that Brent Robbins and I created a mini business case for and presented in the St. Louis University "Idea 2 Product" competition in 2007.
There are now similar services, like the Trip Planner on the Portland public transit website, or HopStop for select cities.
CATEGORY: Transportation / Socioeconomic / Business Idea
IDEATION: November 28, 2006.