Google Maps launches new feature with 6,800km of cycling trails in S'pore, 1st in Southeast Asia

The result of an uptick in interest in cycling over the years.

Ashley Tan | November 08, 2021, 01:08 PM

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Cyclists in Singapore, good news.

Google Maps has launched a new cycling navigation feature, and Singapore will be the first in Southeast Asia to enjoy it.

New feature

The update arrived on both Android and iOS for desktop and mobile Google Map users in Singapore on Nov. 8.

The new feature includes 6,800km of cycling trails and biking directions, all of which are outlined directly on the app.

Cyclists can also view step-by-step cycling directions spanning an island-wide network of linear green corridors linking major parks and nature areas across Singapore, dedicated cycling paths and recommended bicycle-friendly roads.

The feature will also help cyclists avoid expressways and tunnels, which not only poses a danger to users, but is an offence under the Road Traffic Act.

Photo from Google

Other useful elements include tracking one's trip progress with turn-by-turn navigation, being able to receive ETA updates in real-time, and finding out the elevation of the route.

Around 500km of data was provided by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the National Parks Board (NParks).

Increasing interest in cycling over the years

The feature is a result of an uptick in interest in cycling.

Head of Geo Partnerships of South East Asia at Google, Cordula Oertel, said that there has been a "huge spike" in Google searches for cycling routes in Singapore, with a 75 per cent increase from 2020, and 400 per cent from 2019.

Not only does the cycling feature offer commuters an eco-friendly transport option to consider, Deputy Group Director of LTA's Active Mobility Group, Kenneth Wong, states that it complements Singapore's Walk Cycle Ride vision and expanding Islandwide Cycling Network.

The launch of more cycling directions on Google Maps will also help users explore the country's green spaces more easily, Group Director of Parks East at NParks, Chia Seng Jiang, added.

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Top photo from NParks / FB and Google