Google has released the Delhi Public Transport Offline app aimed at helping people get around the city using public transport without needing internet connectivity.
The app, available in Google’s Play store for Android devices, is free to download and use. It covers the Delhi Metro, Gurgaon Rapid Metro, DTC buses and DIMTS Orange buses.
Information about the app first leaked in August, when the code for it was discovered in a teardown of a version of the Google Maps app.
The Delhi Public Transport Offline app lets users search for directions to metro and bus stations, look up timings, and plan travel routes even when offline. When users are online, the app can give them metro and bus transit news and delays.
The description in Play Store states it is an experimental app from the Google Maps teams that was designed from the ground up to make it easier for New Delhi residents to get around on public transit. It notes the team intends to improve the app based on user feedback.
The decision to spin the app off from the core Google Maps app seems to have been motivated by the need for a simple, text-heavy design that will be easier to use on low-end smartphones. The app’s offline focus seems to be a direct result of unreliable and glitchy mobile internet services in India.
Uber has been at the heart of controversy ever since an Uber driver raped a passenger in New Delhi in December last year. The company has since taken multiple steps to improve rider safety, including independent background screening of all its drivers, masking passengers’ and drivers’ phone numbers from each other, and sharing live GPS location with pre-selected emergency contacts.