You can choo-choose trains over planes
If you want to travel meaner, leaner, and greener this fall and upcoming holiday season, Google’s got your back with new filters and views for travel — especially if you’re riding the rails in Europe.
Those who have been using Google’s flight search engine may have noticed one of the stats that pops up with results is the estimated carbon emissions for each leg of the journey. They’d also see how that flight’s compares to other options on average.
But if you’re most worried about lightening the load on the environment, there’s a new filter you can toggle that will exclusively focus on results with below-average CO₂ emissions.
Also new is an “Eco-certified” filter for hotels which sorts results based on building certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council (you might see its LEED rating placards at the front of some properties) and criteria from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Historically, Google hasn’t been optimizing the travel search experience for trains, but it’s definitely starting to play catch-up now as it begins working with carriers in Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain to provide schedules and easy purchase links right from the results.
Users, for example, can put “Berlin to Amsterdam trains” into Google and get a timetable as well as a direct link to Deutsche Bahn for reserving tickets.
The company expects to expand instant train results as it reaches out to other railroads for agreements. Intercity buses may also get a similar integration with Search soon.
We’re pretty sure the likes of Hopper, RailEurope, The Train Line, and Wanderu won’t be pleased with Google coming to play in their pool, but we’ll see their responses yet.
In the meantime, pack smart, pack light, and make sure you’ve done it all yourself before heading out.