Google Maps Adds New Features To Provide Information On Public Transportation, COVID-19

Google Maps has added new features to help Canadians more easily and safely navigate public transportation in light of COVID-19 and social distancing rules.

In tandem with Ontario’s launch of the Public Transit Safety Guidance, the new features will help Google Maps users determine how crowded a transit station is at a particular time before traveling. They will also be able to see if a bus is running on a limited schedule so they can better prepare for travel. 

 It will now be simpler for users to contribute crowdedness information for their transit lines so that others can avoid crowded stations and reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19 when they need to travel. Users everywhere will have access to past rider feedback and can submit their own, right alongside public transit routes when available.

Google Maps will surface more popular times/live data on the transit departure board. Search for a station in Google Maps or tap on the station on the map to see the departure board and busyness data, where available. 

Travel alerts will also show where there are government-issued border restrictions. These alerts will notify users where there may be prohibited, impacted, or inadvisable routes towards their destination. 

Coming soon will also be details on medical destinations and testing centres and their eligibility rules, and alerts that will provide details like if an appointment is required for COVID-19 testing at the destination; if there’s a drive-through for COVID-19 testing; and alerts on routes that might be affected by restrictions related to COVID-19. For instance, as authoritative data becomes available, you’ll receive alerts on when public transportation services may be impacted by government mandates. This feature will soon be available in Canada.