Google Maps now highlights ‘wheelchair accessible’ transit routes (but not in SA just yet)

google maps wheelchair access tokyo station

If you’ve been wondering why Google Maps asks you about places and their wheelchair access, you finally have an answer.

The company this week announced that it will highlight wheelchair accessible routes within the Google Maps app’s transit navigation screen.

“To access the ‘wheelchair accessible’ routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps,” explains Rio Akasaka, Google Maps’ project manager.

“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.”

google maps wheelchair accessible transit routes

And notably, the data Google asks from you adds to its public transit knowledge base. The company is also recapturing images of the world’s major transportation hubs to provide users with an idea of the layout ahead of time.

The wheelchair accessible feature isn’t yet available in South Africa’s cities, but will first be implemented in the likes of London, New York and Tokyo.

“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,” Akasaka adds.

Feature image: Google

Andy Walker, former editor


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