EDIT: I am an idiot. The Boston MBTA has the same service. It's not quite as accessible, but it's linked from the front page. I wanted so bad to have another reason to hate Boston. Dammmmmmn Giiiinaaaa..

Alright, so I'm from DC originally but have been living up Boston way for almost ten years now. DC's metrorail service is, quite simply, the shit, but I've just found something that proves how badass the joint really is. A Trip Planner.

I didn't realize this till I had a few experiences on Boston's MBTA. DC metro has carpet, and the ride is smooth, and the trains are quiet so you can hear the voices in your head really clearly. Boston's trains come when they want to, and they're loud, and the Green Line is so bad they should just shut it down and let people walk on the tracks.

But I just got this email from my girlfriend. She's going to DC and won't have her car. This is what the DC metro website did for her:

you type in where you're at, & where you wanna go, and
it tells you what the closest stations are on either
side AND how to walk to/from there. (and it integrates
the rail line with the bus line) THAT IS AMAZING. I'm
so sick of using the addresses of stations and trying to
triangulate my route

Anyone who's ever used public transport knows you need a medicine man to figure out the best route, especially when you've got buses and trains to deal with. You've got to take into account preference for bus or train, time and cost. And it's even worse if you're not intimately familiar with a city's layout. You don't know exactly where the bus stop is or exactly where the train station is. Some cities don't even tell you where the stations are (for fear that you might blow them up out of frustration, I guess), and though there's good mapping software out there, it doesn't have everything.

I'm so damn anal that when I was planning to move within Boston a few years ago, I used Microsoft Streets & Trips to overlay key bus and train routes through the neighborhoods I was searching. That way I could see how close a prospective apartment was to transport options.

Anyway, I tested out the DC Metro Trip Finder thingamagiggy, and it's hot. You tell it if you want to save time or money or if you prefer bus, train or both. You tell it where you are and where you want to go. It does the rest.

Here's the route from my former home in Takoma Park to my old high school, Sidwell Friends. I made this trip every day for five years, and didn't know about some of the options I had. This is just tight.

Apparently the system is pretty new, having been unveiled in the past month as part of the WMATA (Washington Metro Area Transit Authority) website redesign. A Maryland-based company called TeraTech is responsible.

I just hope they don't stop improving it. Now that they have different routes to connect any two points, they need to have an option to display this on a map (with time stamps at each transfer) and let you print it.

Please TeraTech, I'm begging. Get up to Boston. Seriously, every city with public transportation needs to sign up with to get this system in place. It's just so damn good!