Google Maps now suggests Lime bikes in its transit directions

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.

More details from Google:

You just got off your train and you have seven minutes to get to your first meeting on time—but it’ll take you 15 minutes to walk the rest of the way. You don’t have time to walk, your bus is delayed and the next ridesharing vehicle isn’t set to arrive for another 10 minutes. So close, yet so far.

Today, we’re teaming up with Lime to help you find a better way to travel these short distances. In 13 cities around the world, you’ll now be able to see nearby Lime scooters, pedal bikes and e-bikes as a transportation option right from Google Maps. Simply navigate to your destination and tap on the transit icon to see your nearby options. If a Lime vehicle is available, you’ll see how long it’ll take to walk to the vehicle, an estimate of how much your ride could cost, and your total journey time and ETA. Tapping on the Lime card will take you right to the Lime app, where you can see the exact location of the vehicle and easily unlock it. If you don’t have the Lime app installed, you’ll be taken to the App or Play store.

You can now see Lime scooters and bikes on Google Maps on Android and iOS in Auckland, Austin, Baltimore, Brisbane (AU), Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Antonio, San Jose, Scottsdale and Seattle with more cities coming soon—so you can get to that meeting right on Lime.

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5 Responses to Google Maps now suggests Lime bikes in its transit directions

  1. asdf2 says:

    The next step is to show options that combine bikeshare with public transit. For instance a trip from, say, Fremont to Redmond is much faster if you bike to the bus than ride another bus to the bus.

    Even airport trips, I’ve done the bikeshare/Link combination more than a few times, when traveling light. Just as quick as taking Uber to the train station, but much cheaper.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Yes! If anyone from Google Maps (or the Transit App or any other competitor) reads this post, asdf2 is describing the holy grail of multimodal transportation data. When does biking to an express route make more sense than taking a local bus or biking the whole way? Bonus points if you can connect bike share at both ends of a trip.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Speaking of which, I am still hoping bike share companies start waving the $1 unlock fee for folks chaining together modes. It would be cool if paying $1 to unlock actually gave you an hour or two window within which you could use bikes (or scooters or cars, etc) for only their by-the-minute cost. Something like how a bus transfer works. That way there’s no penalty for biking to transit, then getting another bike for the last mile.

      • asdf2 says:

        +1. Line is starting to get big enough for these types of trips to work. With Lime bikes now in Tacoma, Queen Anne to Point Defiance is one such example.

        A free “transfer” would also eliminate the penalty for swapping out a bike that has something wrong with it for a different one halfway through the ride. This is also a good thing. You shouldn’t have to pay more because your bike has a problem that’s not your fault.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Yeah. You can almost certainly get your money back if you report the issue to customer service, but that’s a lot of trouble for $1.

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