We pushed out another rome2rio release this week. Amongst the changes were the addition of the NYC subway, San Francisco BART and Seattle airport lightrail. We made more routing engine improvements, especially the handling of travel between islands such as Honolulu to Maui.
The most notable change however is that rome2rio now frequently shows surface only (non flying) routes. This was a common piece of feedback, with users wanting to explore travel options that do not include flying. Now, a search from Copenhagen to Gdansk results in several options including a couple of possible routes that involve flying, a 13 hour train journey option and an 11 hour driving and ferry adventure. Rome2rio even suggests an epic 7 day train adventure via the Trans-Siberian Railway when searching from Lisbon to Beijing. As we expand the data coverage, even longer surface journeys will be presented.
So who would actually want to travel so far without flying? Actually, there’s a sizeable movement around surface only travel with advocates sighting the environmental benefits, cost benefits, a chance to meet the locals and the fun of exploring the world at ground level instead of at 30,000 feet. The comprehensive travel site seat61 is all about travelling overland to destinations all over the globe. We recently stumbled upon Yogirail and Trainlines, a couple of hobby sites where people are exploring mapping out surface travel options. Clearly there is an appetite for better information about surface travel than is available today, and we hope to address this by expanding rome2rio’s surface transport coverage.