Google Maps Will Now Tell You How Crowded Your Train or Bus Will Be

Evie Carrick

Squeezing sardine-like into a train with hundreds of other commuters is never enjoyable — but thanks to Google Maps, you’ll now have the wherewithal to shift your departure to avoid the crowds. The app’s new feature, which launches Thursday, July 4, allows travelers to see in advance how busy their train, subway, or bus will be before they even leave the house.

Courtesy of Google
Courtesy of Google

According to Mashable, the tool, which was first tested in Sydney, Australia in October, will have data for 200 cities around the world, including 46 U.S. metro areas. New York City, Portland, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area all made the list.

Like the app’s store and restaurant predictions, which tell people when locations will be busiest, the new transportation feature utilizes user data pulled during the busy 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. commute to determine when routes will be the most crowded. When you plug your destination into Google Maps, the new feature will also let you know how likely it is that you’ll be sitting or standing for the upcoming ride.

The Google Map feature for buses includes real-time delays and arrivals for public buses in each of the 200 cities. The app’s transit view will show the user problem points ahead where the bus is likely to hit more delays.

According to the study, the world’s most crowded transit lines are in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Paris, Tokyo, and New York's L train.