Google Maps Introduces 'Wheelchair Accessible' Routes For Assisting Differently Abled

To provide relief to wheelchair-bound commuters Google Maps has introduced a new feature to help transit of people with mobility needs

Google has added support for finding "wheelchair accessible" transit routes to its Google Maps iOS app in order to make getting around easier for users with mobility needs.

While public transit should accommodate those with mobility needs, in practice, not all buses, subways, and stations are created equal.

And in the case of helping people seeking wheelchair access for transit travel, it appears the Local Guides program is doing some meaningful work. Some transit stations may not be equipped with elevators or ramps, making it hard and time-consuming-if not impossible-for travelers with mobility needs to access.

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Users just have to look under the "routes" option.

Though I would urge caution when using this feature as there was one little notification which stated to "use caution - wheelchair-accessible directions may not always reflect real-world conditions" - whatever that means. Select this option, and then your navigation directions will be updated to include only options that are wheelchair-friendly. It will initially be offered in a handful of major cities, including New York, Boston, London, and Tokyo. It has also collaborated with transit agencies in the cities involved to catalogue the most efficient and best accessible routes.

"Last September, Local Guides from around the world gathered at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions-like whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom-for more than 12 million places. Additionally, we've been busy capturing and updating Street View imagery of transit stations and city centers so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time".

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"For someone that does not have that knowledge it can be quite daunting".

"The problem is however that the information is not entirely accurate", warned Benson.

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