If you think navigating a major city on public transit is hard enough, just try and imagine how you would get around if you have mobility concerns. That’s just part of daily life for hundreds of thousands of people using wheelchairs and other mobility aids. So it’s a good thing that Google Maps will now show “wheelchair accessible” routes in select big cities around the world.
Google announced last week that they are rolling out wheelchair accessible directions in Google Maps. The company teamed up with transit agencies to catalogue the best routes for those with mobility concerns. Users can open the “Directions” tab in Google Maps and select “Wheelchair Accessible” under “Routes.” For now, this feature will only work in a few big cities, starting with New York, London, Boston, Tokyo, Sydney, and Mexico City. Google will also work with more transit agencies in coming months to add additional routes.
Although in some ways long overdue, it’s no small feat to map complex urban terrain with different transit systems, including some that are so old they don’t have elevators. It’s also no small feat to travel when you’re using a wheelchair or mobility aid. We hope that that Google continues to roll out more cities in the future!