Google Maps was built to help people navigate and explore the world, providing directions, worldwide, to people traveling by car, bicycle or on foot. But in city centers, buses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs.
Bearing this in mind, Google Maps has introduced a new feature on Google Maps which allows people identify routes for people with mobility needs.
It has also commenced the rollout of “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier.
This new feature was announced by Rio Akasaka, Product Manager, Google Maps in a recent blog post. According to Rio, “We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you’re on crutches or pushing a stroller. ”
To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon. Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, you’ll find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type. When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration.
The feature is rolling out in major metropolitan transit centers around the world, starting with London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney.
Google is working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps.