April 3, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
The 2012 Olympic Games in London are right around the corner, and the transportation many attendees will use just got a Google Maps update.
Google announced today that it is bringing real time service alerts for the London Underground on Google Maps. The updates will give transit riders in London the ability to know when and where disruptions to the subway schedule might affect their transit plans. On both Google Maps online and within the Google Maps Android app, users will receive notifications about changes.
The alerts are an important tool for not only Olympic-goers, but everyday users of the subway system. Google says it will also include “planned engineering works for the weekends,” so it has more time to warn users and suggest alternate routes. Users will automatically see alerts if their route is affected by changes, but they can also tap on a specific station to get more information.
Last June, Google Maps for Android updated to include live schedules for buses, trains, and rails in select cities. While there have been hiccups along the way, partnerships with local transit agencies have made it possible for Google to give travelers a more realistic view of when their chariot would arrive. London now joins that elite company.
As someone who once relied on one of the worst public transportation systems in the United States (Miami-Dade), I can tell you how crucial it is to stay on top of route disruptions or get live updates. It’s best to learn that lesson ahead of time so you don’t spend thousands of dollars to visit London for the 2012 games and end up missing events.