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Google Maps new Covid-19 transit information feature

Published Jun 9, 2020


CAPE TOWN - Throughout the current pandemic, Google constantly expands its free to use data and information, with yet more features, which proves to be a crucial part of our daily lives.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Google has been covering all factors of the disease by providing information on Covid-19, keeping people and businesses connected, and, quite importantly, increased the extent of anonymous movement tracking to provide information on crowded locations.

Google has expanded their features on movement, although a feature provided before lockdown showcasing how busy shops and public spaces may be, Google Maps has now begun rolling out features in certain countries with transit information and alerts.

“When you look up public transit directions for a trip that is likely to be affected by Covid-19 restrictions, we’ll show relevant alerts from local transit agencies. These alerts can help you prepare accordingly if government mandates impact transit services or require you to wear a mask on public transportation.” Ramesh Nagarajan, Product Management Director of Google Maps, said in a report on Monday.

Although the features are currently only being rolled out in certain regions like the US, UK, Brazil, Australia and Mexico - to name a few - with more to come says Nagarajan.

The features will add further transit notifications with the introduction of driving alerts such as Covid-19 checkpoints or any restrictions impacting your route, for example, border crossing with all necessary information.

Google Maps introduced a feature last year that predicted crowdedness on public transport “Powered by tens of millions of contributions from past riders, these predictions help people see how crowded a particular bus line or train tends to be” said Nagarajan, and as avoiding crowds becomes crucial during this time, Google Maps will be making it simpler for commuters to contribute to the data collected in order to help others make safer decisions.

As countries begin to open up and economies resume, such features play a vital role in helping users stay safe and protect those around them by making informed decisions.

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