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 

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 and we can chat.

Other APIs

Our data team can integrate crowding information from other real-time APIs. For more information, reach out to

Historical data

If your agency does not have the ability to export vehicle crowding information in real time, Transit can use a regularly-updated source of historical APC data to provide estimates of predicted vehicle crowding, based on the time of day and recent crowding levels over the course of a route. To share historical APC data with us, please reach out to

Crowdsourced crowding information from GO

Riders using our GO step-by-step navigator can relay crowding info to others on their trip, in real time. Here’s how it works: once GO detects a rider has hopped onboard, it asks a simple question:
Their anonymous response will be shared with other riders for the next 10 minutes before expiring. If we worked with you to add crowding predictions based on your APC history, the crowdsourced report will temporarily take over. But if your agency provides real-time crowding info, don’t worry — we’ll show your official data instead.

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!

Need help?

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 for more info.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us