Google Maps makes urban cycling more convenient with a new update

Google Maps
Google Maps (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Maps is getting more cycle-friendly over the next couple of weeks.
  • A new update will integrate real-time docked bikeshare information into cycling directions when navigating.
  • The update will hit 10 major cities including New York, London, and Mexico City before expanding to others over the coming months.

Cycling is becoming more popular as a means of transportation and Google is updating Maps to support that. In a new update, Google Maps will now include bike-sharing schemes in its cycling directions. It'll integrate them with walking directions, showing users where to walk to pick up a bike, where to drop one-off, and how to reach your destination from there.

It's a way of acknowledging that while cycling is more popular than ever, not everyone owns a bike. In major cities like New York or London, people are more likely to use these docked-bike schemes to get around than investing in their own.

Writing on the Google blog, Vishal Dutta, Product Manager, Google Maps, explained:

Starting today, when you look up biking directions, you'll see end-to-end directions that include docked bikeshare information. Steps will include detailed walking directions to bikeshare stations near your starting point along with live bike availability, turn-by-turn cycling directions to the bikeshare station closest to your destination with live dock availability, and, finally, walking directions from there to your final destination.

Google will make this available in the following cities and cycling services: Chicago (Divvy/Lyft), New York City (Citi Bike/Lyft), San Francisco Bay Area (Bay Wheels/Lyft), Washington, DC (Capital Bikeshare/Lyft), London (Santander Cycles/TfL), Mexico City (Ecobici), and Montreal (BIXI/Lyft).

Google says it'll work with local partners as it works towards bringing this service to more customers over the coming months.

Michael Allison