In another grand leap forward for mobile New Yorkers, someone other than the MTA is once again making public transit easier. Google is poised to launch Google Transit for the city, which will make it possible to search for directions from one place to another, using the quickest subway or bus route. (You know, sort of like HopStop.com but with the power and popularity of Google)The system is already in place for several other U.S. cities, including Tampa, Dallas, Portland, and Seattle. When they implemented it in Duluth, public bus use shot up 12 percent. This is genius, though the MTA's routine unannounced delays and murky service changes are likely to throw a lot of wrenches in the gears. After all, can a computer algorithm possibly pre-calculate "goddamn-sick-person-on-the-train ahead-of-us"–related delays?
Google May Start NY Transit Maps to Boost Ads [Bloomberg]
Google to Map the Subway [Subway Blogger]
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The Underground Gourmet has nothing against sending a mail-order fruitcake to the gastronome on your holiday gift list (provided, of course, that the fruitcake is made by Berkeley preserves specialist June Taylor). But who in their right mind wouldn't rather receive a nice Reuben sandwich in the mail? Zingerman's, the excellent Ann Arbor–based purveyor of everything from Hungarian Liptauer cheese to sour-cream coffee cake, has practically made Reuben-giving a sacred holiday tradition — at least that's how it is chez UG. And although you will find no reference to corned beef, sauerkraut, or Swiss cheese in any of the works of Charles Dickens, according to Brad in the Zingerman's mail-order department, the company ships approximately 3,000 Reuben kits every year, 1,000 of which are ordered in the month of December. That may not approach national fruitcake numbers, but you have to consider the fruitcake regifting factor — no one, as far as the UG knows, has ever regifted a Zingerman's Reuben. s
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