What you need to know
- Google Maps is getting three new features aimed at public transit in India.
- The app will show real-time train status for long-distance trains.
- Google is leveraging live traffic data to better predict bus travel time in India's 10 largest cities.
- You'll also start seeing mixed-mode commute suggestions that include public transit along with an auto-rickshaw.
For a few years now, Google has focused its attention on the Indian market when developing new features for Google Maps. Two-wheeler mode was first introduced in the country, and Google also rolled out plus codes — short codes for locations that don't have a street address. The company is now adding three new features aimed at public transit users in the country, starting with local bus times.
Google Maps provides you with information on bus schedules, but the app will now start leveraging live traffic data to give you a more accurate travel time. All you need to do is enter your starting point and destination, and you'll be able to see the real-time travel time. The feature is being rolled out in ten of India's largest cities: Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Chennai, Mysore, Coimbatore, and Surat.
Google acquired the company behind Where is My Train last year, with the service reliably tracking real-time status of Indian Railways trains. The best part about the service was that it worked entirely offline, and Google is now integrating those features into Google Maps. The app will now start showing real-time train status for long-distance trains, and you can easily see whether your train is on schedule or running behind from within Maps.
Finally, Google is adding mixed-mode directions that include a combination of auto-rickshaw as well as public transit. The option is ideal in cities with metros, with Google now highlighting stations that you can take an auto-rickshaw from. You'll also see fare estimates — a valuable tool — and Google will also suggest departure times for your transit connections. The feature is available in Delhi and Bangalore, and will roll out to other cities.