Using Google Maps for Public Transit Directions

We spent a week on our own in London and traveled around by the Underground (subway), Buses, and Trains. In the past we’ve had to acquaint ourselves with the various routes by getting a paper map. Now we just ask Google Maps for directions like we always do, but instead of selecting the car icon for driving directions, we choose the bus icon for public transit directions.

This feature has been around for awhile, but since we don’t live in a big city, we have little opportunity to use it. I also think it has been significantly improved since the last time we tried. We depended on it for our week in London and it did not disappoint. When you ask for directions via Public Transit, your results will look something like:

You have choices

Notice that option 1 is 44 minutes to option 2’s 39, however look at the transfers. With option 1 you have 3 steps: walk to the Circle line and get on, when you get off you walk to your destination. With option 2 there are 4 steps: you walk to the Elizabeth line and get on, then you transfer to another line before you can get off and walk to your destination. I would rather sit for an extra 5 minutes than make a transfer. So I pick option 1 and then I see all the details, what station I need to walk to, what platform I need to be at to catch the right train, how many stops I need to travel thru, and which stop to get off.

Once you get accustomed to the screens, it gave us such confidence that we could get anywhere we wanted by following Google’s public transportation directions.

Pay with your Phone

And, to pay, all we had to do was tap our phones on the pad before the gate . You need to have Google Pay installed on the phone, and the phone needs to be unlocked when you tap the terminal. Tap the terminal to get on to the platform, then tap again when you get off. Your fare will be paid accordingly.

To see your Google Pay Transactions

To see your Google Pay transactions: 
– on phone, open GPay app
– scroll down to see recent transactions, tap “See all” for more


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