Exciting New Feature: Google Maps Now Informs You How Busy Your Commute Will Be

After months of data collection, Google Maps now lets you know how crowded your bus or train ride will be.
Fabienne Lang

Most people living in busy cities use some form of public transport to get to and from work daily. Commuting can be a tricky business on days when you are stuck on a moving can of sardines, locked elbow to elbow with your fellow commuters. 


Google Maps has been working on a project for months to inform commuters just how busy their preferred mode of transport will be during their commute.

How can they predict your morning commute?

The team at Google Maps collected huge amounts of data after asking daily commuters to specify how crowded their rides were over months of traveling by public transport. They were traveling between six and ten in the morning - classic rush hour times.

Crowdedness predictions in transit navigation. Source: Google

 After finishing their trips, commuters were asked to provide one of four options: many empty seats, few empty seats, standing room only, or cramped standing room only. 

After collecting enough data, the team at Google have been able to predict just how busy your morning commute will be. Granted, not the exact number, but a very good estimation

The new feature, available for both Android and iOS systems, will be available in 200 cities. It was launched on Thursday, 27 June. 

Traffic delay feature included

There's more good news, for those traveling in locations where public transport's real-time information isn't easily available, as Google Maps is also launching traffic delays information. 

Commuters will be able to know how late the bus is, recalculate how long the journey will take, and offer more specific live traffic conditions during the route.

The feature will display exactly where the delays are, so if you feel the need to hop off beforehand and change your route, you can. 

It seems that there will be no more excuses for tardiness in offices or in schools. Google Map users will be more informed and will now be able to make more clear decisions about their morning commute, and perhaps even snag a seat in a crowded bus.

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