Google Maps just made it easier to bike share when travelling around the world
It seems like Google is on a mission to make travel easier for people. In May, they launched a Google Travel desktop website where flight, hotels, vacation packages, and other trip-planning tools were compiled on one page.
Those same functions were also made available on Google Maps. And now the mega internet company is adding another feature: real-time bike-sharing information.
Google announced today that travellers will now be able to see bike-sharing options in 24 cities across 16 different countries. The feature was rolled out in New York, but now available globally. Through the offering, you can see which stations have bikes ready for you to take out, and which stations have empty spaces near your destination of choice. All you have to do is search for the name of the bike-share in Google Maps, and it will display stations near you as well as the number of available bikes at the station you select.
Cities include everywhere from New Taipei City to Toronto, and sharing programmes like Bicing, Deezer nextbike, Villo!, Molbubi, and more. It's all made possible thanks to a partnership with Ito World, which incorporates a bike share data feed directly into Google Maps.
The reason for the new feature, according to the company, is that bike-sharing is booming. There are an estimated 1600 bike-share systems and more than 18 million shared bikes in urban areas across the globe. The data isn't surprising considering biking is convenient and affordable, making it a popular transportation option.
"Whether you're travelling in a new city or planning your daily commute, Google Maps is making it easier to weigh all your transportation options with real-time information," Google wrote in a blog post about the launched. "Just like how we show you when buses and trains are coming and going in Google Maps, you'll now know which bike-share stations have a bike ready for you.
This bike-sharing information is available in Google Maps on Android and iOS and is expected to expand to more cities in the future.