Everyone deserves the freedom of mobility, no matter if they own their devices — feet, bike, car, pogo stick — or not. Fortunately for people planning out journeys via public transportation or vehicleshare services, Google Maps has been picking those methods up one by one by one to offer a better real-time navigation experience. Now, the app is incorporating these so-called "first mile" and "last mile" solutions for people looking for transit directions.
Earlier this year, some transit directions began suggesting using a car of some sort for first-mile or last-mile legs — separate from the whole-trip rideshare suggestions the tab already provided — as a way to include park-and-ride commuters and those who have friends or family to drop them off at the station. In June, some directions began suggesting that users hail auto-rickshaws for certain journey segments in India.
Now, Google Maps is wrapping more transit modes into its segment planning, including rideshare, bikeshare, scootershare, and potentially others as users will soon be able to select a route in a new Mixed Mode section under the transit directions tab.
For any alternate mode segment, they'll be able to see which vendors they can choose from, an idea of how much that part of the trip will cost, and applicable traffic information as well. Bikers will also be routed through bike paths where optimal.
For commuters struggling to find their way, it's not just about knowing what options they have, but figuring out whether those options fit their abilities, budgets, or timeframe. The Mixed Mode section gets us closer to knowing more about vehicle-sharing services and how far they can take us.
The feature will roll out on Android and iOS in 30 countries later next month. More countries are expected to be added on in the near future.