Today, Google Maps gets a major update. Google’s ultra-popular mapping platform now provides an end-to-end direction in addition to other transportation mediums. The walking path will include directions to nearby bike-share stations along with live bike availability. The cycling directions will lead to the station closest to the user’s destination and again, walking path to the final destination.
In select cities, Google maps will also redirect users to relevant bikeshare apps that will allow them to book and unlock bikes in the sharing station.
As mentioned in their blog post, Google has partnered with Ito World – a transportation information company founded in 2006 for the development of the recently rolled out update. Ito World, had also provided bikeshare data of 179 cities to integrate into Apple’s Map app.
Google is also associated with various bikeshare partners around the world, which leads to the following 10 cities to have support of docked bikeshare directions:
Chicago, U.S. (Divvy/Lyft)
New York City, U.S. (Citi Bike/Lyft)
San Francisco Bay Area, U.S. (Bay Wheels/Lyft)
Washington, DC, U.S. (Capital Bikeshare/Lyft)
London, England (Santander Cycles/TfL)
Mexico City, Mexico (Ecobici)
Montreal, Canada (BIXI/Lyft)
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (Bike Itaú)
São Paulo, Brazil (Bike Itaú)
Taipei and New Taipei City, Taiwan (YouBike)
They also mention in the blog, “As with any mode of transportation right now, cleanliness and safety are top of mind. All of our bikeshare partners have taken steps to increase their cleaning protocols during COVID-19”.
The firm claims that the amount of google searches for ‘bike repair near me’ has increased globally. Requests for cycling directions have increased by 69% since February this year leading to an all-time-high last month. People are opting for bikes, individual or shared, in order to follow safety precautions amid the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.