Google Maps make Sydney public transport directions accessible

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Thursday, 26 July 2012 11:06am

Google and Transport New South Wales have teamed up to introduce Sydney public transport directions to the Google Maps app.  After testing, we can safely say that accessibility has been a key consideration in the feature’s development.

Media Access Australia staff tested the public transport option in the Google Maps app for iPhone and found it is accessible via the VoiceOver screen reader. This means people who are blind or vision impaired will now have greater access to information on Sydney’s trains, buses, ferries and light rail services when using the Google Maps app on the Apple iPhone.

Information that can be accessed through the public transport option on the Google Maps app includes:

  • Walking directions to the nearest bus stops, train stations and wharves
  • Suggested public transport routes
  • Estimated time of arrival of public transport routes
  • Estimated travel time of suggested route
  • Detailed directions for example "Take 370 – Coogee to MarketPlace Leichardt via Newtown towards Coogee"
  • The app also announces icons denoting the form of transport such as bus, train or ferry.

Based on this testing, the inclusion of Sydney public transport information on the Google Maps will increase the mobility and independence for blind and vision impaired Sydneysiders. Here’s hoping the feature is rolled-out to other Australian cities soon.

The app is inbuilt in Apple and Android smartphones. To use the public transport option, select the bus icon at the top of screen.

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