Google announced today a new feature for Maps that will make it easier for users to locate bikesharing stations while navigating. The feature will be made available in collaboration with transport information firm Ito World.
The new capability comes in handy if you don't own a bike, and it will help you find the closest bikesharing spot when viewing end-to-end directions. It will include direction from your starting point to the bikeshare location, real-time availability of bikes, and detailed cycling directions to the station closest to your destination with live dock availability. Finally, you can reach your destination from your drop-off station with the help of walking directions provided by the app.
This feature combines Maps' existing capabilities including biking directions introduced in 2010 and the ability to locate bikesharing locations. The latest update is meant to provide the easiest biking route to users by combining directions from the pick-up location to the drop-off point. In some cities, users have the option to open a bikeshare app such as Lyft from within Maps and book a ride.
Google will roll out the feature in four cities in the U.S. including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco Bay Area. It will also go live in London, Mexico City in Mexico, Montreal in Canada, Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil, and Taipei and New Taipei City in Taiwan.