Big cities like London usually aren’t known for being easily accessible to people using wheelchairs, but a new feature from Google Maps is a step toward making it easier.
Google Maps on Thursday launched a “wheelchair-accessible” option for six major cities.
“In city centers, buses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs,” said Google in a blog announcement. “Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn’t always readily available or easy to find.”
To use the feature, punch in a route as you usually would, then tap on “options.” It can be found under the “routes” option.
The feature has been rolled out in six big metropolitan cities: London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney.
“We’re looking forward to working with additional transit agencies in the coming months to bring more wheelchair accessible routes to Google Maps,” said Google.
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.
This is a big step forward and a great news. But the success of this new @googlemaps option will depend on accurate data to prevent Disabled people from being stranded on the network by broken lifts or inaccessible routes. @AlansTweets http://bit.ly/2GzjNRY @GoogleUK
Here at Mashable we have found that while the feature appears on desktop and on Apple phones, the feature didn't appear on Android phones. Sometimes new features like this are rolled out gradually and it can take a day or two for everyone's device to get it, and we have reached out to Google for comment.