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April 28, 2017

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Taiwan gets Google's live transit updates

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Catching the bus just got a bit easier.

Google Transit, a real-time bus and railway tracking feature in the Google Maps app, officially launched in Taiwan on Tuesday.

Now instead of just seeing bus and metro choices in the Maps app, you can see the bus's estimated arrival as reported by the transit operator in real time.

Google said the transport information service would provide commuters with nationwide railway data feeds.

In the initial roll-out, the feature will be available for use in five major cities: Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

Coming Soon to More Cities Near You

Google said its developers would continue working on adding new transit options and cities for the new feature, with Tainan City among the regions to support Google Transit in the next round.

With the added feature, whenever users type in their place of departure and destination point, the system will run calculations and show them public transport routes and required waiting times.

The company said this tool would help users who rely heavily on public transport to more efficiently plan their trips.

A How-to

Google presented an example to show new users how to use the new service.

For a user that seeks to use Google Map to search for the best route from Taipei 101 to the National Palace Museum or from the Taiwan High Speed Rail Zuoying Station to E-da Theme Park, they only need to type those locations into the Google Maps app for a route suggestion.

Users will see bus options, how long each route will take and when the next bus will arrive.

Time until arrival will be displayed in green, unless the next bus or train has been delayed, in which case it will turn red.

Google said currently public transportation information is supported by Android devices, iPhones and the website version of Google Maps.

Currently, Google Maps boasts over 1 billion active users around the world and provides real-time traffic data feeds in 100 countries.

Google said that its Maps app had more than 1,000 credible information sources.

These sources include open data and commercial graphics, such as satellite, aerial and street view images.

The firm said that it would continue to update its features to provide a more comprehensive and convenient map service.

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