Google Is Making Maps More Inclusive By Introducing Wheelchair-Accessible Routes

The feature is rolling out in London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney.

Google has just introduced an exciting new feature for Maps to help people who use wheelchairs or have other mobility needs. 

An estimated 2.2 million people in the United States depend on a wheelchair to get around, yet information about public transit stations and routes that are wheelchair-friendly isn't always easy to find. Google hopes to change that with Google Maps's "wheelchair accessible" feature which will help people discover accessible public transportation routes. 

The goal is to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs, including those who are on crutches or pushing a stroller.

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To view the "wheelchair accessible" routes, commuters simply enter their destination into Google Maps, tap "Directions" and the public transportation icon, select "Options," and find the "wheelchair accessible" route under the "Routes" section. There you'll find a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration. 

The feature is currently available in major metropolitan transit centers in London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney, but Google is working with additional transit agencies so they can add more accessible routes in the coming months. 

"In addition to making public transportation more accessible, people around the world have been helping us add accessibility information to Google Maps," Google wrote on its blog. "Last September, Local Guides from around the world gathered at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions — such as whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom — for more than 12 million places. Additionally, we've been busy capturing and updating Street View imagery of transit stations and city centers so people can preview a place or transit station ahead of time."

The new Google Maps feature is another step in the right direction toward making the world more accessible world for all.

Cover image via Minerva Studio / Shutterstock.com

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