Google Maps gets live bike share availability update

Google has announced a series of updates to its maps to better illustrate bike share availability in cities around the globe.

Posting to the search giant’s blog, software engineer Andrew Hyatt described the process in developing a bike sharing map update that will now span 24 cities in 16 countries, including the UK.

The move comes on the back of a trial in New York where users of the service have been able to view the docks attached to bike sharing schemes, including availability of bikes at any given location.

There are an estimated 1,600 bike share systems in urban areas around the world, which host around 18 million share bikes. Those bikes are responsible for vastly more bike and e-Bike journeys, with many hire schemes breaking records this year.

“Bikesharing has gone mainstream. And for good reason–it’s a convenient, affordable, fun and hassle-free way to get around,” writes Hyatt on the integration in to Maps.

The ability to source and share this data with users comes thanks to a partnership with Ito World. The Google Maps cycle hire data now covers Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Chicago, Dublin, Hamburg, Helsinki, Kaohsiung, London, Los Angeles, Lyon, Madrid, Mexico City, Montreal, New Taipei City, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco Bay Area, São Paulo, Toronto, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich.

Recently, AI and bike share expert Tom Nutley shared with CI.N his recipe for what makes city bike share schemes successful and why so many fail. To read our interview with him, click here.