Google Maps has unveiled its new cycling navigation feature in Singapore, which spans across 6,800 km of cycling trails and biking directions. As the first country in Southeast Asia to enjoy this feature, it provides a helpful option for Singaporean cyclists as the activity continues to trend globally – evident in the up to 98% increase in the use of biking directions on Google Maps in cities around the world. The update will be available on both desktop and mobile (Android/iOS) for Google Maps users in Singapore.
With around 500 km of data provided by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the National Parks Board (NParks), the new cycling feature includes step-by-step cycling directions, 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 cycling mode will also help users avoid expressways and tunnels, which pose a danger to cyclists and is an offence under the Road Traffic Act.
Users of power-assisted bicycles (PABs) and motorized personal mobility devices (PMDs) are advised to visit LTA’s website to understand the rules and regulations which includes no riding of PABs on footpaths and no riding of motorized PMDs on roads.
The option to plan a cycle journey sits alongside the existing walking, driving and public transport options on Google Maps. Cyclists can explore different cycling routes, track their trip progress with turn-by-turn navigation, receive ETA updates in real-time, and find out the elevation of the route to stay focused on the road. As with all new additions to the map, riders are encouraged to send feedback and route information for inclusion via the “Send feedback” tool.
Ms Cordula Oertel, Head of Geo Partnerships, South East Asia, Google said, “In Singapore we’ve seen a huge spike in searches on Google for cycling routes, with a jump of 75% from 2020, and an increase of 400% from 2019, so it’s clear that Singaporeans are keen to get on their bikes. With the new cycling directions feature on Google Maps, we hope to create a safe and helpful experience for cyclists as they plan their journeys and to offer commuters in Singapore a more sustainable, eco-friendly option to consider.”
Mr Kenneth Wong, Deputy Group Director, Active Mobility Group, Land Transport Authority said, “We are heartened that Google, a strong community stakeholder, has partnered LTA to advocate for responsible and safer journeys as we realize our Walk, Cycle, Ride vision for Singapore. The launch of Google’s new cycling navigation feature is timely and complements our Islandwide Cycling Network (ICN) programme where we will progressively expand the cycling connectivity for Singapore. We look forward to working with more in the community to foster a gracious path sharing culture to create safer journeys for everyone.”
Mr Chia Seng Jiang, Group Director, Parks East, National Parks Board said, “With the pandemic, more Singaporeans are visiting our green spaces for exercise and leisure and this includes cyclists who have been making use of our Park Connector Network and cycling paths. As Singapore transforms into a City in Nature, one key thrust of this vision is to bring nature closer to Singaporeans through the strengthening of connectivity between our green spaces. The launch of cycling directions on Google Maps will help more Singaporeans explore our green spaces easily on two wheels and in turn, benefit from the positive effects of nature on their mental and physical health and well-being. NParks will continue to expand the Park Connector Network to ensure that more communities can access nature easily.”