Show Vehicle Crowding in Transit
Transit agencies know: keeping tabs on the level of occupancy of your vehicles is useful for operations. What are the busiest lines? What time of the day? Here's the thing: it's also useful for your riders. Are there any seats left? Standing room only? Should I wait for the next bus?
To make life easier for your riders during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, Transit now supports vehicle crowding information.
Dive deeper with our expert panel
Riders want to know crowding information in real time before they feel comfortable hopping aboard. So we convened app, agency, hardware and data experts for a casual Q&A to explore what app users expect, how agencies are facing the challenge, the info APC passenger counters can provide, and where the industry's real-time data standard goes from here.
On this page:
- About vehicle crowding levels
- Show crowding levels with GTFS-rt, another API, or historical data
- Crowdsourced crowding information from GO
- Need help?
About vehicle crowding levels
When users tap their line in the app, they see a map showing the real-time locations of transit vehicles along their route.
When the data is available, the vehicle icon shows not just the last update of the vehicle's location, but also its crowding level.
Show crowding levels with GTFS-rt, another API, or historical data
The majority of transit agencies that provide crowding information to riders use data from their APC passenger counters (or other similar technology) located at the entrances of vehicles.
If your vehicles have APCs, the data can be formatted by your data provider for use in Transit.
If you add real-time occupancy values to your GTFS-rt feed, it will automatically display in Transit and users will see real-time crowding information using the simplified three-category system shown above.
For the data nerds out there: we are aware that not all agencies use a 100 percent scale to determine crowding levels. If your crowding information is different, we're happy to adjust so riders get the most accurate information. Reach out to email@example.com and we can chat.
Our data team can integrate crowding information from other real-time APIs. For more information, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crowdsourced crowding information from GO
Bonus: these reports help measure the public’s overall crowding comfort level. (Want to check your APC numbers against how your riders are feeling? Let's chat.)
Let your riders know about GO crowding
Our social media kit has ready-made content so you can let riders know to tap GO, helping inform other riders about real-time crowding levels on their trip. Check it out!
Interested in adding crowding information for your agency in Transit? Starting the process of using data from your APC passenger counters to update your real-time feed? You'll need to work with your APC provider. We're happy to help; just reach out to email@example.com for more info.