Google Maps Adds Biking and Ridesharing to Its Transit Options

nirat/iStock via Getty Images
nirat/iStock via Getty Images

The directions and time estimates given by Google Maps are very straightforward. That is, if you’re driving from door to door in your own car, or walking from door to door on your own two feet. If you’re using a combination of other transportation methods, however, your “Be there in 30!” message is sometimes really code for “I have only the vaguest idea of how long it’ll actually take me to get there.”

To help you out, Google Maps has announced that it’s adding biking and ridesharing to its transportation options, so you can now go from your bike to the train to an Uber to your friend’s apartment—and your friend will know that “Be there in 30!” means exactly that.

You’ll be able to access the new features by entering a destination, and tapping on "Directions" and then the tiny train icon on Google Maps, just like you normally would to see transit options. Before, if your starting point or destination was even just feet from the train station or bus stop, you’d see those routes paired with walking directions. The new feature includes options for swapping out those walks with biking or ridesharing. If you choose biking for a portion of your journey, Google Maps will automatically tailor those routes for cyclists. If you choose ridesharing, you’ll see options for rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber, and Google will give you the details about cost, wait time, traffic, and more.

Google

According to The Verge, this is Google’s latest attempt to make travel easier for urbanites. In June, Google Maps added a feature that used past data to predict how crowded trains and buses would be for commuters. Uber is also vying for the position of one-app-fits-all when it comes to travel: They’ve recently added transit options to their app, and they’re testing a feature that allows Denver residents to buy train tickets directly in the app.

If your device uses iOS, you might start seeing the transit changes on Google Maps as early as today. If you’re an Android user, you might see ridesharing options today, with the bike feature to follow soon.

To remind yourself how much easier it is to take public transportation in the digital age, check out these historical transit maps.

[h/t The Verge]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

Mental Floss Shop
Mental Floss Shop

You've been asking about it for months, and today we can finally confirm that the Mental Floss Store is back up and running! Simply head here to find dozens of T-shirts with all sorts of unique designs to choose from, whether you’re in the market for a pi pun, a risqué grammar joke, or something only your fellow bookworms will appreciate. You can even use your new Mental Floss shirt to teach your friends all about scurvy.

Mental Floss Store

If you’re just in the mood to express your love of all things Mental Floss, you can also get our darling little logo on phone cases, tote bags, mugs, baby bibs, and more.

Mental Floss Store

Head on over to the Mental Floss Store to see our entire collection. And if you use the code FLOSSERS at checkout by end of day Sunday, you'll get 20 percent off your order. 

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Late MythBusters Star Grant Imahara Honored With New STEAM Foundation

Grant Imahara attends San Diego Comic-Con
Grant Imahara attends San Diego Comic-Con
Genevieve via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Fans of MythBusters and White Rabbit Project host Grant Imahara were saddened to hear of his passing due to a brain aneurysm in July 2020 at the age of 49. Imahara, a graduate of the University of Southern California, used the television medium to share his love of science and engineering. Now, his passion for education will continue via an educational foundation developed in his name.

The Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation was announced Thursday, October 23, 2020 by family and friends on what would have been Imahara’s 50th birthday. The Foundation will provide mentorships, grants, and scholarships that will allow students from diverse backgrounds access to STEAM education, which places an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. (Formerly referred to as STEM, the “A” for art was added more recently.)

Imahara had a history of aiding students. While working at Industrial Light and Magic in the early 2000s, he mentored the robotics team at Richmond High School to prepare for the international FIRST Robotics Competition. Whether he was working on television or behind-the-scenes on movies like the Star Wars prequels and The Matrix sequels, Imahara always found time to promote and encourage young engineering talent.

The Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation’s founding board members include Imahara’s mother, Carolyn Imahara, and close friends Don Bies, Anna Bies, Edward Chin, Fon H. Davis, Coya Elliott, and Ioanna Stergiades.

“There are many students, like my son Grant, who need the balance of the technical and the creative, and this is what STEAM is all about,” Carolyn Imahara said in a statement. “I’m so proud of my son’s career, but I’m equally proud of the work he did mentoring students. He would be thrilled that we plan to continue this, plus much more, through The Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation.”

Imahara friend Wade Bick is also launching an effort in concert with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to name a study lounge after Imahara. Donations can be made here.

You can find out more about the foundation, and make a donation, on its website.