Google Maps adds a couple of new useful features: the ability to pay for parking or buy a train ticket straight from the app.
Google Maps integrates two mobile parking payment services into the Passport and ParkMobile apps. Both offer the ability to find, pay for and top up parking meters or parking fees through a smartphone app. Now these features will also be available in Google Maps. According to the company:
Just press the “Pay for Parking” button that appears as you approach your destination. Then enter your meter number, how long you want to park and press “Pay”;. Need to add more time to your meter? Extend your parking session easily with just a few taps.
The ability to pay for parking in Google Maps will be available in 400 plus cities in the United States, including Boston, Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC and more, Google said. Android phone users will get the feature first, with iPhone owners coming soon.
Paying for public transportation will work much the same way. If you search for directions in Google Maps, you will see an option to purchase tickets appear along with your results. Similar to the parking payment feature, customers must have a Google Pay account linked to a valid credit or debit card to complete the transaction.
Customers can then use their phone – either in a payment situation or by showing a digital ticket to a conductor – to run public transport. And in places like the San Francisco Bay Area, customers will be able to purchase a digital Clipper card directly from Google Maps. The feature will be available for use in over 80 transit systems worldwide, says Google.
A number of transit agencies around the world have modernized ticket collection methods to include contactless or payable media such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. Some people who rely on weekly passes or monthly cards, such as the London Oyster card or the San Francisco Clipper card, have also started working with Apple and Google Pay to integrate the payment cards into their apps.
It’s the latest feature of Google Maps’ ongoing work to make it more user-friendly for commuters and transit drivers. In 2019, new forecasts were added for the amount of transit, so that customers could see how crowded a bus, train or pipe is likely to be before they go out on the shuttle. It also added a feature that combines transit directions with cycling and turn-sharing options, allowing customers to get directions using a variety of transport modes.
Google is not the only technology giant trying to appeal to transit drivers. Uber and Lyft have both recently begun to integrate transit directions into their respective apps. Customers living in Denver can even purchase train tickets with their Uber account. Both companies build sophisticated algorithms that rely on data from transit agencies related to routes and timetables. Also, it is a race among technical giants to become a one-stop shop for transportation.