Google Maps introduces new public travel features in India to inform users about local bus, long distance schedules, and more
In order to stay relevant in one of the biggest internet market, India, Google has announced three new exciting features to Google Maps in India. Google believes that public transport is the lifeline of millions of Indians, and one of its essential services, Google Maps, is helping over a billion people to navigate and explore the world each day. So, in order to make public transport journeys more efficient and seamless in a country like India, it has introduced three new features that include Bus travel times from live traffic, Live train status for Indian Railways trains, and Mixed-mode commute suggestions (that combine auto-rickshaw and public transport).
Coming to the first feature, Google Maps will now tell users about their bus travel times based on live traffic. Google says that it is the first product of its kind that is launching first in India in cities including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Chennai, Mysore, Coimbatore, and Surat. The feature uses the power of Google’s live traffic data and public bus schedules to calculate delays and provide accurate travel times. In order to use this feature, users need to enter their starting location and destination, and then tap the transit tab. After which, results for bus travel times from live traffic will be displayed, with time in green (when running on time) and red (when delayed).
The second feature with Google Maps aims to help users by letting them know when their train will arrive by indicating the real-time status. Users can take advantage of this feature by searching for their starting location and destination, or their starting station and destination, to see a list of trains that they can take between those routes. Additionally, they can also see the real-time status, and whether any of the trains are delayed, right inside Google Maps. Google says that it has developed this feature in partnership with the ‘Where is My Train’ app that it acquired last year.
Another feature that Google Maps has included offers directions support in Maps for journeys combined with auto-rickshaw and public transport. Essentially, the public transport tab on Google Maps (for Android) will not let users know a few different things related to their journey like whether taking that journey is a good option, how long will it take, which station they should take an auto-rickshaw to/from. In addition, the feature will also provide ride estimates for rickshaw and departure times for transit connection. Google says that the feature will be available only in Delhi and Bangalore, as of now, but will soon be extended to more cities.