If you travel a lot, Rome2Rio is a great service for searching for the best way of getting from A to B via multiple modes of transport. Now it’s added train and bus routes from 170 different operators, making the service more useful for anyone who lives in, or visits, North America.

The service is simple to use. You simply enter your starting point and end point and it will tell you how to get there, sketching out on a map which makes it easy to understand.

For example, searching for a journey from Cape Town in South Africa to Whistler Village near Vancouver in Canada, I get the following result, with three suggested journeys to choose from.

Screen Shot 2011 09 27 at 12.06.54 520x243 Brilliant visual travel search service Rome2Rio adds US and Canadian train and bus routes

Zooming in, we get to see the route that I’d have to take from Vancouver Aiport, via the SkyTrain service to the city center. I even see the exact route the bus takes from there to Whistler.

Screen Shot 2011 09 27 at 12.06.27 520x331 Brilliant visual travel search service Rome2Rio adds US and Canadian train and bus routes

It’s a beautifully simple idea, and it’s funny how ‘small’ it makes the world feel when you can see a long journey sketched out across multiple transport modes. You can view full schedules for the routes offered and in some cases can even view fares and book tickets right from the site. Other neat touches include a display of your carbon footprint for the journey (5694 tons CO2e for the trip above).

Rome2Rio is the product of a Melbourne, Australia-based team, and while it doesn’t have every mode of transport covered for the whole world yet, it’s well worth trying. You may discover that instead of a tedious 12 hour layover in some foreign airport, a 30 minute train ride will get you to an alternative flight, and your final destination, much faster. Rome2Rio is a free Web app and available to try now.