"Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn't always readily available or easy to find", wrote Rio Akasaka, product manager for Google Maps, in announcing the feature. After that select the "Wheelchair accessible" toggle.
The new option which is available in six cities like London and NY, targets to make travel easier for people who need an accessible route on public transportation. TechCrunch notes developers behind Google Maps and other mapping apps are still figuring out how to incorporate street info that could be highly valuable to people with disabilities, including sidewalk conditions and grade, curb cuts and pedestrian crossing zones.
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To access the "wheelchair accessible" routes, users should enter their desired destination into Google Maps.
"When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration", Akasaka said. Google said it's working with more transit agencies, so the feature could expand into more cities.
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Transport for All - an organisation campaigning for more accessible transport in London - welcomed the feature, but said its success will depend on how accurate the data Google uses is.
"Last September, Local Guides from around the world gathered at 200 global meet-ups to answer accessibility questions-like whether a place has a step-free entrance or an accessible restroom-for more than 12 million places". "With the help of transit agencies around the globe and people like you who contribute local knowledge, we're making progress toward a more accessible world for everyone".
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