Google Maps Gets Wheelchair-Accessible Transit Routes

Navigating public transportation in a wheelchair is about to get a little easier for users of Google Maps. Google Maps now offers wheelchair-accessible public transportation routes for several major cities. At launch, that includes London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney, but Google said it’s working with transit agencies to add wheelchair-accessible routes for other cities in the “coming months.”

In a YouTube video highlighting the new feature, Google says it will also be helpful for people with strollers and those on crutches.


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To access these new routes, type your desired destination into Maps, tap “Directions,” then select the public transportation icon. From there, tap “Options” and look for “wheelchair accessible” under the Routes section. “When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration,” Google Maps Product Manager Rio Akasaka wrote in a blog post.

When following one of these routes, you can, for instance, rest assured that you won’t be directed to get off at a railway stop with a long flight of stairs and no elevator. Meanwhile, to check if a place you’re planning to visit offers wheelchair-accessible entrances, elevators, seating, and parking, find the place on Google Maps or Search, open the business listing, tap the two-line description, then scroll down to the accessibility section. If the place lacks a feature, you’ll see a no symbol next to it.

Google has been crowdsourcing this information and last summer introduced a convenient new way for users to add accessibility details about places to Maps and Search.

From Google Maps on Android, open the main menu, tap “Your contributions,” select “Uncover missing information,” and sort by “Accessibility.” This will tell you all the places around you that are missing accessibility information, so you can help to fill it in.

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