For those who use a wheelchair, transit directions needed to be double-checked because Google Maps didn’t check if stations were step-free accessible — be it that the rail or bus fleet don’t cover gaps or if elevators weren’t available at a stop.
Well, now, the app now has a directions mode with wheelchair accessibility in mind. When searching up directions to a place around the Boston, London, Mexico City, New York, Sydney and Tokyo regions, check the options tab and see if the “wheelchair accessible” item can be toggled. If it is, suggested routes will change.
Google says that it gathered participants in its Local Guides program at over 200 locations in September to gather accessibility data for 12 million places. It’s also getting help from transit agencies.
We’ll have to see if elevator availability data will be accounted for in this iteration as machines get taken out of service for maintenance.