Starting today, Google Maps can show you directions using rented bikes from docked bike-share schemes like Citi Bike in New York City or Santander Cycles in London. It works by giving walking directions to get to a nearby dock, cycling directions to get from one dock to another, and finally walking directions once more to get from the dock to your destination. It’s similar to what Google started offering for Lime’s dockless scooters and bikes back in 2018, but for the many docked bike-hire schemes that are available in cities around the world.
The new functionality comes as cities are promoting cycling as a means for people to get around in an environmentally friendly and socially distanced way during the COVID-19 pandemic. Google says that since February, it has seen a 69 percent increase in the number of requests for cycling directions made through Maps, and that it had a record number of requests last month.