Google Maps has teamed up with Lime to give you another transit option for those who use the app to navigate their way around.
It means that in 13 cities around the world — 11 of them in the U.S. — you’ll be able to see the location of nearby Lime scooters, pedal bikes, and electric bikes right in Google Maps.
To get started, navigate to your destination in Google Maps and then tap on the transit icon to see your nearby options.
If a Lime bike or scooter is available, the app will tell you everything you need to know, including how long it will take to walk to it, the estimated cost of the ride, your total journey time, and approximate time of arrival.
If you’re good to go with one of Lime’s two-wheelers, tap on the Lime card and you’ll be taken to the app, which will show you the precise location of the vehicle and allow you to start the ride.
The new feature is for Android and iOS devices and at launch works for the following cities: Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Antonio, San Jose, Scottsdale, and Seattle, as well as Brisbane in Australia, and the New Zealand city of Auckland. More cities will be added soon.
In a blog post, Google Maps’ Vishal Dutta imagined how you could end up making use of the new feature: “You just got off your train and you have seven minutes to get to your first meeting on time — but it’ll take you 15 minutes to walk the rest of the way. You don’t have time to walk, your bus is delayed, and the next ridesharing vehicle isn’t set to arrive for another 10 minutes. So close, yet so far.” A nearby Lime bike could save the day, and you can find it in a couple of taps … failing that, you can try another provider instead!
The partnership is a clear win for Lime’s business, as it takes its service to a much bigger audience, with many folks perhaps tempted to hop on a Lime bike or scooter for the very first time. In contrast, it looks like a blow for Lime’s many competitors who’ll be missing out on the free publicity that Lime is gaining from its inclusion in Google Maps.
It’s little surprise that Google has teamed up with Lime for the new feature. The web giant was part of a $335 million investment round in Lime in July 2018. Uber, too, was part of the investment, and its app now includes an option for Lime rentals in relevant cities.