This Is Why We're Particularly Excited Google Maps Now Shows Lime Scooters

mbg Contributor By Caroline Muggia
mbg Contributor
Caroline Muggia is a writer, environmental advocate, and registered yoga teacher (E-RYT) with a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Psychology from Middlebury College.
This New Feature In Google Maps Could Reduce Traffic & Carbon Emissions

Image by Cavan Images / Getty

Prioritizing the environment is more important now than ever before. In October, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported we need to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent to prevent climate-change-related environmental disasters like wildfires and mass coral bleaching. While many big companies are taking steps toward a greener future, there's always work to be done. And as of today, Google is keeping the ball rolling with a new transportation feature in Google Maps.

Transportation is responsible for producing the highest amount of greenhouse gases, and in 2016, the EPA reported that it constituted 28.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Google is doing its part to lower these emissions with a new partnership with Lime, a rideshare app that specializes in motorized scooters.

The new feature in Google Maps will allow users to choose what some are calling "light individual transport" options as a segment of their route. Traditionally, when you put an address in Google Maps, it gives you different means of transportation like driving (including ride apps like Uber and Lyft), taking the train, or walking.

Now Google Maps is offering a Lime option and will tell you exactly how long it will take you to pick up your closest rideshare whether you're looking for a pedal bike, electric bike, or scooter (if that's available in your city), and your estimated travel time and cost. All you have to do is click on the Lime icon and you are either directed to the app to pay for your ride or to download it in case you don't have it.

This feature is available today on Android and iOS starting in 13 cities, four of which are in California. Meaning if you live in Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Jose, Auckland, Austin, Baltimore, Brisbane, Dallas, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Scottsdale, or Seattle, you're scootin'.

The news is exciting as it could have a big impact on traffic congestion and carbon emissions especially in cities where the most common mode of transportation is by car. Cities like Los Angeles, for example, that are notorious for single occupancy commuters (73 percent of commuters drove alone) are prone to gridlock, which leads to more carbon emissions.

With Google Maps being one of the most popular navigation choices for smartphone users in 2018, we are optimistic that increased access to low carbon emission transportation could make serious waves.

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