Google Maps to put Dublin Bikes users on the right track
It is finally easier for Dublin Bikes users to hop on the saddle as they can now check Google Maps to see how many bikes are free for use.
Google has introduced the feature to its Google Maps app on both Android and iOS platforms so fans of the popular cycling scheme can tap their phone screen to check the availability of bikes at stands around the city.
The new feature, which was introduced yesterday, also allows users to see how many parking spaces are left at stands.
The real-time information is intended to make it easier to access the bike sharing scheme.
It has been successfully trialled in New York for a year, and has now been rolled out in 24 cities worldwide.
San Francisco Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Hamburg, Helsinki, Barcelona and Vienna are also in the mix, as are Toronto and Budapest.
It is aimed at those who are commuting to work, possibly using the bus to get into the city centre before cycling the rest of the way, and to the many tourists who visit the cities.
The move was welcomed by Green Party councillor Ciaran Cuffe.
He told the Herald: "It's good news. It will make it easier for cyclists and for people who are transferring from car or bike, anything that makes it easier is a good thing."
He said he was hopeful that the new Google Maps element to the Dublin Bikes scheme would encourage more people to use them.
In future he would like to see a system where people could reserve their bike.
"I hope it will encourage people to use them. One of the worst things about them is if you go and there are none left at the stand. The next move might be reserving them," he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Google said their aim was to make cycling even more accessible.
"The integration of real-time Dublin Bikes updates into Google Maps will make finding and returning bikes much easier for the over 70,000 subscribers who have made almost two million journeys this year alone," said the spokesperson.