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The coronavirus pandemic is causing important changes in our daily life, including the way we move around cities. In this sense, more and more people favor the use of their own bicycles or shared ones, instead of private vehicles and even public transport, putting safety first in every trip.
Google Maps have noticed a growing interest in the use of bicycles, either for recreational use or to travel to destinations, where in fact searches for the nearest bicycle repair shops have more than doubled this month compared to July last year.
And since more people start to see bicycles as the ideal mode of transport, many cities have undertaken the task of creating and cleaning up thousands of roads. Now, Google has announced that it is working to update its information on bike lanes with the idea of incorporating the data of new lanes over the world in the upcoming months, inviting the same cities and municipalities to contribute updated information on Google Maps through the Geo Data Upload tool.
However, the more important news is the ad specifically targeted at those who use bike-sharing stations. Being launched in ten cities as of today, users looking to reach destinations on a bike will find information about bike-sharing stations, including details of the steps to be taken on foot to the closest bike stations, together with the live information on available bikes, directions to reach the nearest bike stations of destinations with free parking areas, and directions on foot from the stations where the bikes were parked to the final destinations.
For some of the cities, Google Maps will also offer links to bike-sharing services apps, so that users can go to them, reserve bikes, and unlock them.
The first cities to see this feature implemented are Chicago, New York, San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, London, Mexico City, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Taipei and New Taipei City.
Google is also working with additional partners to bring this feature to more cities in the coming months.