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Apple Maps' public transit directions might only support six cities at launch

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It's puzzling that two and a half years after its launch, Apple Maps still doesn't support public transit directions, making it more or less useless during the more than 10 billion times each year that Americans ride the bus, take the train, or use some other form of alternative transportation. It was looking like Apple would finally remedy that in iOS 9 with the addition of public transit directions, but a new report from 9to5Mac says that the support will be pretty half-hearted. Apparently, public transit directions may only launch in six cities: New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Paris, and Berlin. There may also be some support in China.

6 cities ÷ 3 years = way too long

Those are major cities, so this does mean adding support for how millions of people get around. Still, it's a paltry list given how long Apple has been working on this, the fact that other mapping services seem to support a vastly larger number of cities, and that Apple actually bought mapping companies that supported more cities than this. Apple bought Embark and Hopstop — which alone has public transit data for over 600 cities — almost two years ago. It's reasonable to expect that after the much-maligned launch of Maps, Apple would take great care to make sure that each city's transit system is accurate, but this data is frequently provided by the transit systems themselves, which seems like it should be hard to mess up. Here's a list of data from several hundred transit providers.

Apple will reportedly roll out public transit directions for additional cities as they become ready, pushing the data out to phones immediately rather than waiting for large iOS updates. Boston and Tokyo are said to be next on the list. If you live anywhere else and rely on public transit, you can keep Apple Maps hidden away in a folder for at least a few more months.