Google Maps unveiled three features pertaining to public transport usage in India on 18th June, 2019. Through the new add-ons, Google Maps users would be enabled to see bus travel times, in tandem with live traffic, across the 10 largest cities of India. They would also be able to get live train statuses for the Indian Railways. Furthermore, the new features shall provide multi-modal commute recommendations that now combine auto-rickshaw and public transport, in addition to the already available arsenal of options.
While launching the new features, Taylah Hasaballah, Product Manager, Google Maps said; “Google Maps is being used by over a billion travellers to navigate and explore their world, wherever they are. And we at Google are focused on building Maps features that will help deliver a more relevant, accurate, and reliable experience for commuters."
Simplifying public bus transport
Google Maps now allows the app users to view bus travel times based on live traffic. This takes into account Google’s live traffic data and public bus schedules to calculate variable and fixed delays and project accurate travel times. This is a first-of-its-kind product which shall be launching first in India and then in the rest of the world. It shall enable commuters to know how long a bus trip will take considering the live traffic conditions. This feature is now live in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Chennai, Mysore, Coimbatore and Surat.
Real-time train information for Indian Railways’ trains
Google Maps can now also help users determine when their train is due to arrive by factoring-in the real-time live running status. A search for starting station and destination station throws up a list of trains that can be taken between the stations. Also available are the real-time statuses, and whether any of them are delayed, on Google Maps. This feature was developed in partnership with the ‘Where is My Train’ app that Google acquired last year.
Mixed-mode directions results that include auto-rickshaws
Google Maps will now inform users whether a journey that combines auto-rickshaw and public transport is a good option or not. This feature shall be incorporated under the public transport tab. It will also project the travel time, and recommend a station to take an auto-rickshaw to/from. Aside from that, the rickshaw fare estimate, and departure times for their transit connection shall also be available. This feature will be rolled out only for Delhi and Bangalore initially.