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OCR for page 191
Getting Ground Access Information to the Traveler 191 particular destination, the fastest trip is by a National Express Coach, an option not always considered for an airport with both direct rapid transit and direct high-speed rail service. Transport Direct can offer ground transportation advice between all airports in the United Kingdom and any point in the United Kingdom. At the present time, the Heathrow Airport website offers the user the link to the Transport Direct website on the second page, under "To and from Our Airport." The user is then offered the standard Transport Direct opening screen, which has a great deal of information that is not at all relevant to the needs of an air traveler planning a trip in the future, including roadway detours all around the United Kingdom. At this point, the user must type in the words "London Heathrow" and the appropriate destination. The program then follows with a screen asking the user to confirm or clarify the same words, even if they were correctly entered. The management at Transport Direct has currently embarked on a major program to sim- plify the process of transfer between websites, which could improve the integration of the ser- vices. As shown in Figure 9-11, Transport Direct has developed an application programming interface (API) to improve the access from individual websites into the Transport Direct trip planning process. Any website associated with an organization (such as Joe's Restaurant) with an address is provided with a Transport Direct icon with words such as "Get Directions to Joe's Restaurant here." Clicking the icon causes a new window to open in which Joe's Restaurant is already specified as the destination of the trip, and the user must specify only the trip origin. In effect, the API has eliminated both the need to enter the address and the need for the program to clarify or confirm this address. This service is currently being offered at no cost for use in every website in the United Kingdom. When it is adopted by the airports, it will make the trans- fer process to national trip planning system far more seamless. According to interviews with the managers of Transport Direct, this program will form the basis of their developing relationships with airports. Ground Access Information on the Zurich Airport Website Passenger Information Provided by the Airport Public mode access to Zurich Airport is overwhelmingly provided by the national rail system, whose transfer and link is discussed in the following paragraph. Thus, the home page actually uses the phrase "rail connections" to link the user to the next level of ground transportation SOURCE: Transport Direct website. Figure 9-11. The trip planning services of Transport Direct will be made available for free to every website in the United Kingdom, including all airports.