Google has added wheelchair accessible routes within Google Maps, helping people with disabilities navigate more efficiently. The new feature is geared toward public transit in large metropolitan areas.
When selected, it will show a typical layout of a city but with wheelchair ramps and elevators applied. Initially, it is being rolled out to cities with major public transits such as New York, Mexico City, and several other places with busy transits, or where the best way to get around is via bus or train.
"We're looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps," the company said.
In a blog post, Google points out that information about ramps, elevators, or other kinds of pathways friendly to those who use wheelchairs aren't always easy to find, or sometimes entirely absent from maps.
How To Find Wheelchair Accessible Routes On Google Maps
Using the new feature is fairly easy. Simply type the desired destination as anyone would in the app. Then, tap "Directions" and select the public transportation icon. Tap "Options" and locate the new "wheelchair accessible" option under the Routes section, which is bundled alongside the "Best route," "Less walking," and "Fewer transfers" choices.
Google has also been seeking the help of various people around the world for extra Maps information via the add accessibility information option within Google Maps, which lets users input more details about a place that ultimately enriches the Maps experience.
The company said it's also been busy capturing and updating Street View images of transit stations and city centers so people with disabilities can preview them ahead of time to check if they're safe and efficient to navigate through.
Google also notes that aside from people on wheelchairs, the new feature might also be useful for parents with strollers, or individuals with crutches. Overall, it ensures that Google Maps caters to every type of person, with or without disability.
Google has been making an effort to improve the Google Maps experience for those who aren't able to commute as easily as others. In 2016, the company updated Maps so people can check whether a place is wheelchair accessible by clicking on the description and looking under the "amenities" tab. The new feature is an extension of that, and hopefully Google also expands it to accommodate other cities around the world.