Lime’s bikes and scooters now show up as a transit option in Google Maps in a select number of cities. The app takes into account both the time to walk to the nearest bike and the bike ride to give you time and price comparisons with real-time transit data and app taxi services.
This might seem like a simple little change, but it’s a hugely powerful addition to the most popular mapping app. Calculating all the steps to completing a bike share trip in real time and comparing it to other options also empowers people who are agnostic about how they get around to easily choose the fastest and cheapest option. And that will often be a bike.
Including bike share also puts these services in front of a lot more people who might not seek them out otherwise. And it makes the transit tab of Google Maps that much more competitive with the driving tab. That may sound a little silly, but most people are just looking for the best way to get where they’re going. So having bikes in the mix is huge.
Only Lime appears in the results, at least for now. JUMP’s parent company Uber shows up as an app taxi service, but their bikes are not listed. Google’s venture capital arm is a major investor in Lime, along with Uber. Google is also an investor in Uber, but Google is also currently suing Uber. I know, it’s confusing.