Google Maps has made itself an invaluable tool for many users, especially those who have an Android device and use it for directions – and even GPS navigation – on the run. You can get turn-by-turn navigation in your car, GPS directions while walking, and can even tap into public transit data in over 440 cities around the world. The public transit options in Google Maps is now increasing its user value once again, this time by adding alerts and live departure times for any bus or train that’s departing behind schedule.
Previously, the public transit information – including departure data that could be viewed by clicking on a transit stop on your Google Maps and the public transit directions – showed only the publicly available data on the actual schedule for departure. If any line was lagging behind, Maps users could do nothing more than wait patiently for the mode of transportation to arrive. In Boston, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Turin, and Madrid, however, users will now be able to see when their ride will actually show up.
Users can view this improved data in one of two interfaces. First, if you click on the transit station in Google Maps you’ll note a new icon labeled “live departure times,” located directly above the scheduled departures. Second, when getting public transit directions users will be notified of any service alerts, changes in schedule, or other relevant data, and the directions will automatically update to reflect any necessary changes in your plan.
While the feature is initially available in only six cities, Google has made it clear that they’re eager to get more cities on board. Those who want to take a look at the feature simply need to do a transit search in one of the cities listed above using the latest version of Google Maps for Mobile or the live desktop version of Google Maps.
[via the Google LatLong Blog]