Chicago's fairly straightforward grid pattern makes it one of the most navigation-friendly metropolises in the country. But for those who need a little help, Google Maps provides driving, walking, and CTA directions. Now, the popular routing tool is adding Metra to the mix.
Google Maps has combined with Metra's schedule information in a new online trip-planning feature.
Enter a starting point and destination at www.metrarail.com/googletransit, and the site will provide detailed schedule options, including estimated traveling time, a map of the route, and the cost of the trip compared with driving.
Unfortunately, Google Maps is not yet fully integrated with Pace bus information. So if your trip includes any suburban Metra stations, the site does not yet provide any info on how to travel to or from those stops via public transportation.
The Metra site is meant to mimic the RTA's Trip Planner, which provides detailed data on bus and train routes, fares, walking directions, and wheelchair-accessible stations.
Both trip-planner links will be available at the Metra website and are free of charge.