Do you want to know when the next subway train is due to arrive at your stop in New York City? Just ask Google.
Google Assistant now has a real-time transit feature that you can take advantage of if you’re riding the subway. If you have an Android phone, Smart Display or smart speakers, you can say: “Hey Google, when is the next 6 train arriving? Or “Hey Google, when is the next train due?”
The Google Assistant will let you know the trains estimated time of arrival and give you walking directions to the subway station.
Pay per ride with Google Pay
This rollout coincides with Google Pay now being accepted for “pay per ride” on some MTA subways and buses in Staten Island for its public rollout with plans to expand. If you’re not commuting and have an Android device, you can “tap and go” with your contactless payment card, mobile phone or wearable. The system is only set up to pay for one ride right now and not eligible to deduct from your commuter benefits.
There are a few things to keep in mind. The Google Assistant’s subway data is only as good as the MTA data. You can’t know for sure if the train is on-time or late. Plus, with any map app, there’s bound to be some issues as there occasionally is with the Google Maps integration in the NYC subway system.
With the Google Maps integration, you can also chart train arrivals, estimate commute times, and use other features for New York City and more than 18,000 cities around the world.
While our commutes get longer, Google Assistant can at least help us get the timing down a little better. And if your employer offers commuter benefits, that can go a long way to making the commute better too.
Read more: How commuter benefits work in NYC
Commuter benefits allow you to save up to 40 percent of commuting costs tax-free in your paycheck. You can then use those benefits to pay for your commutes on mass transit, rideshares, and some parking.
Your employer gets to save money in payroll taxes. With commuter benefits, each employee who enrolls can save $41 per month. With 50 employees in a program, that adds up to $24,000 annually. If the business can enroll 75 people in the program, the savings increases to $36,000 annually.