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Google Maps gets new bike sharing features

The latest Google Maps update makes it easier for Google to get around cities by bike.

While offering bike routes is nothing new to Google Maps (the navigation service started offering them 10 years ago), Google is now integrating bike sharing into its routes.

These new bike sharing features make it easy for people who don’t own a bike themselves (and great tools for cyclists

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) to get where they are going.

Google Maps gets new bike sharing features

Google announced Keyword which initially offers bike distribution stations in the ten largest cities around the world. Google has partnered with Ito World and several other bike hubs to export new routing options to the following cities:

  • Chicago, United States
  • New York City, United States
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • San Francisco Bay Area, United States
  • London, England
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • São Paulo, Brazil
  • Taipei and New Taipei, Taiwan

If you live in one of the supported cities and decide to travel by bike, Google Maps displays docked bike sharing information to help you get where you’re going through walking directions to the nearest bike – share a station, then bike directions to your destination to the nearest station, and more walking directions to complete your route.

In addition to routes, Google also promises that the update will show bike availability vividly, so you won’t waste a bunch of walking on the dock just to find that not all bikes are available. In some cities, Google has made it possible for you to even book a bike directly from Google Maps.

For those who are not in any of the supported cities, Google says, “We are actively working with other partners to bring this functionality to several cities in the coming months.” This means you don’t have to wait too long to get directions to bike sharing in your area. Unfortunately, Google has not yet announced which cities it intends to add the feature to.

How to use the bike sharing features of Google Maps

First, you must live in one of the ten cities listed above. Assuming you can get through such an obstacle, all you have to do is make sure your Google Maps app is up to date, and then ask Google Maps for cycling directions. Here you will find traditional cycling directions and driving directions that include bike sharing.

While this new update is really only useful for cyclists, Google Maps has a lot more to offer. You can even create a custom map to share with other people

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. Which is a lot more fun than it sounds.

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