Google Maps users can track where and when they can pick up a bicycle from bikeshares, thanks to this latest update by Google.
It’s been estimated that there are some 1,600 bikeshare systems and more than 18 million shared bikes in urban centres worldwide. Now, Google has made it easier than ever before to find where and when you can find a bike.
Earlier this month, Google Maps software engineer Andrew Hyatt revealed Google will unveil this feature to a total of 24 cities in 16 countries.
“Bikesharing is booming as this two-wheeled technology transforms how people get from A to B in cities around the planet,” Hyatt said in a blog post.
“From New Taipei City to Toronto, you can now use Google Maps to locate bikeshare stations and pinpoint how many bikes are available near you.
“You can also find out whether there’s an empty space at a station near your destination for you to leave your bike.”
For the past year, travellers and commuters in New York City have been using Google Maps to both locate bikesharing stations and see exactly how many bikes are available at a station in real time.
But now, thanks to a partnership with travel data specialist Ito World, its been expanded globally.
“Whether you’re traveling 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,” Hyatt said.
This bird’s-eye view into bikesharing is now available in Google Maps on Android and iOS in the following cities globally with more on the way, according to Google: Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Chicago, Dublin, Hamburg, Helsinki, Kaohsiung, London, Los Angeles, Lyon, Madrid, Mexico City, Montreal, New Taipei City, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco Bay Area, São Paulo, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.
The update to Maps to incorporate bikeshare information follows the inclusion of a feature that allows users to see how busy their bus or train will be.
Thanks to optional feedback gathered from users, the new feature includes information on crowdedness and live traffic delays for buses, allowing users to see where there bus is, how long it will take to get to them, and how likely you are of grabbing a seat.
Google Maps product managers Taylah Hasaballah and Anthony Bertuca wrote at the time that the feature would be rolled out to around 200 cities globally, with no information on the specific locations.
They also revealed the world’s most crowded transit lines, with the majority found in the Americas.