Wheelchair accessible routes on Google Maps have been available in Sydney since 2018 but now Google are expanding on that with the help of Transport NSW. From now people will be able to map out their journeys inside some stations as well.
To do this Google has launched Street View imagery for 130 train stations and a dozen metro stations in Sydney. Using the Street View imagery people will be able to virtually navigate “interactive, panoramic imagery” inside Sydney stations to help them know their way once they are there. For visitors this is extremely helpful but not only that but it also provides users with a view of the older, heritage listed stations such as St James Station along with the views from Circular Quay station and Milson’s Point.
While the imagery is available for these 130 stations, detailed navigation directions for accessible routes are available across 70 stations. These allow users to “find the best and most accessible entrances, exits, signage and paths within the station and better anticipate in-transit travel times along these pathways.”
These navigation directions are being shared with Transport NSW so that they can be published to the NSW government’s Open Data Portal to allow the transport industry and app developers to use this information in their solutions in the future.
To use these accessible navigation directions for your route, type your destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions”, then select the public transport icon and any route options (such as “wheelchair accessible”, “fewer transfers” and “less walking”). After you tap your chosen route, the detailed navigation instructions will be displayed if your route takes you through a complex station in Sydney.
It is great to see this sort of accessibility updates available to Sydney-siders now, hopefully our other capital cities aren’t too far behind.