Being able to pull a small device out of your pocket, type in an address, and instantly see how to get there is a luxury that few could have dreamed of in the recent past. Lucky for us, that’s the reality we live in.

However, not all of us own a car and no one wants to walk far if its pouring rain or freezing cold, which means many of us are left with public transport as our main means of getting from point A to point B.

As expected, Apple announced that public transit routing would be part of its iOS 9 Apple Maps Upgrade. It was also announced that Apple Maps was used for directions 3.5 times more than its nearest competitor, meaning that this upgrade will have far-reaching benefits and consequences.

In a move reflecting the importance of the growing world power, Apple is only offering public transit info for only 10 cities outside of China. These include New York, Berlin, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., London, Toronto and Mexico City. Public Transit information for more than 300 cities within China will be available, however.

This will increase the importance of addresses, neighborhoods, and other local SEO factors

Rest assured that being armed with exact public directions will empower consumers to travel greater distances within cities to reach you, especially when it comes to tourists, who are usually relegated to taking public transit in a foreign city. Be sure to have as much info about your location as possible. Your address needs to be visible, including zip code and neighborhood. It’s also a good idea to mention the closest transit stops to your business.

More local search options will be available

Included in the update alongside the public transit feature are new local search capabilities, such as being able to search by name or category. This will equip consumers with a new way to search locally without having to rely on Google, and provide extra services to the billions of people who use Apple for their directions. This makes local SEO even more important than it was only a few days ago. In addition, you’ll now be able to see if the business you’re looking to visit accepts Apple Pay.

Having transit directions for major cities at your fingertips is a huge advantage for customers and a great opportunity for businesses. Not only will this encourage people to explore their city, but it’ll cut down on the amount of time people spend trying to find their way around. Improved travel for pedestrians, increased visibility for local businesses, and a great opportunity for Apple to promote Apple Pay: Seems like a home run by Apple if you ask us.

For help with your local search engine optimization campaign, contact the experts at BlueHat Marketing.