Google Maps Adds Biking and Ridesharing to Its Transit Options
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.
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]