Google Maps, new feature for public transportation users

Google Maps updates with new features to make it easier to travel by public transportation and avoid crowds

Is there a line at the bus stop because you only get in a few at a time because of Covid-19? Google Maps tells you. They won't let you on the train if you don't have a mask on? Google Maps tells you. You have to go abroad by car but at the border they won't let you pass? Google Maps tells you so.

There are many new features coming (unfortunately not yet in Italy) on the Google Maps app to cope with the many limitations on personal travel imposed by the pandemic and to comply with the many (and very jagged) rules dictated by governments around the world to try to limit the contagion. Google is gradually releasing new features on Android and iOS apps in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, Google is also strengthening the system of collecting and communicating useful information for those who take public transportation and have special needs.

Google Maps: alerts for Covid-19

In countries where these new features have already arrived, Google Maps now tells us if a trip that might be affected by Covid-19 restrictions. It does this by sending alerts from local transportation agencies. Alerts about possible body temperature checkpoints, for example when crossing national borders, will also arrive soon (this feature will arrive first in Canada, Mexico and the United States). When navigating to medical facilities or Covid-19 testing centers, on the other hand, the app will display an alert reminding us to check the facility's guidelines to avoid being turned away upon entry or causing additional stress to the local healthcare system.

Google Maps: queues at public transportation

Last year, Google introduced crowding forecasts for public transportation in Maps. These are average predictions, based on data accumulated from public transportation apps. Now Google is working to make it easier for people to provide crowding information for the lines they frequent: basically, it will soon be possible to explicitly indicate in real time if a vehicle is crowded or there's a line to get in. Finally, in addition to adding this specific information for the Covid-19 emergency, Google Maps will soon provide more information related to the accessibility of public transportation for those in wheelchairs or with walking difficulties, on any seats reserved for women and safety on board the means.