Accessible routes option added to Google maps
22 Mar 2018
Google have introduced a new feature on Google Maps which allows users to plan their journeys based on routes which provide step free access. The programme was designed to help people navigate the world by finding the quickest, or best route from A to B, or even just to show where the nearest ‘anything’ is to your current location. However, the ‘best’ or ‘quickest’ routes are often not the most convenient for someone with a disability.
Many of the quickest routes involve taking various forms of public transport which, especially in a new city, can be daunting to someone in a wheelchair, hoping or guessing whether their particular chair, or scooter will fit or be allowed on. This has made it difficult for many people with specialist needs to use Google Maps in the past.
This has come at an excellent time as well, as both AMP and Independent Living reported on the latest research that over 90% of disabled people are not confident visiting new places. Many people are worried that either the locations will not have the right facilities for them as well as coming across unexpected stairs and having to suddenly change their journeys.
Once you have chosen your starting location and your destination, you tap ‘Directions’ then the public transport icon, here you can simply go to ‘Options’ where you will find ‘wheelchair accessible’ as a new route type. Google have not only been making it easier to navigate public transport routes, they have been allowing people from all over the world to submit accessibility information onto Google Maps. This feature is currently only available in London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston and Sydney, but with Google working with more transit agencies and with more help from the general public, more routes should keep being added.
If you have any suggestions to add to Google Maps, follow this link: https://www.blog.google/products/maps/better-world-wheels-google-maps/
And for any more information call us on 0800 0258 005, or contact us on Facebook, or via Twitter @Wheelfreedom