Rolling Without Limits

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Google Maps Introduces Google Maps Accessible Transit Routes
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Google Maps Introduces Google Maps Accessible Transit Routes

Commuting in a big city can be strenuous, especially for people with limited mobility. Bearing this in mind, Google has linked its already popular map application with "wheelchair accessible" routes.

The recently rolled out update comprises some of the world's largest cities such as Sydney, Boston, Tokyo, New York, London and Mexico City. According to a report from MMN, the software will offer all-encompassing details about some helpful information such as transit times, elevator and ramp access.

"We built this feature to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, but accessible routes are also helpful if you’re on crutches or pushing a stroller," Software Engineer, Maps Content, and Community Sasha Blair-Goldensohn wrote in his latest post.

"With the help of transit agencies around the globe and people like you who contribute local knowledge, we’re making progress toward a more accessible world for everyone," he added.

The American tech behemoth posted a video that features people who are likely to take advantage of the tool on its Google Map YouTube channel. The video shows how users can activate the newfangled feature.

The hotly-anticipated wheelchair option was introduced as part of the search engine giant's well-received "20 percent project," which focuses on encouraging employees to seek ingenious ventures aside from their regularly assigned work.

Blair-Goldensohn, who sustained spinal cord damage eight years ago, following a fatal accident in New York's Central Park, spearheaded the endeavor to make a disability-friendly map. "We've been a ragtag bunch of 20 percenters who are dedicated to this," he told CNBC.

"But to really get it funded and staffed in a more substantial way, it will help if we're able to say to the people who manage maps and who staff projects, 'Hey, look, we have people who are really using this and they're asking us to do more,'" he added.

Google is looking for recommendations from users as well as transit officials about how it can further improve its disability services. The company says it will introduce more wheelchair accessible routes to other cities across the globe in the near future.

(Image Credit: Google Maps / YouTube Screencap)

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