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Google Maps can now determine how crowded your bus or train will be

Your Google Maps app will now be able to predict how crowded your bus or train will be thanks to a recent update, Google announced Thursday.

The crowdedness prediction will now appear when you look up transit directions in Google Maps. It’s based off of ratings by other users, and the app might even ask you how crowded a bus, train, or subway car is while you’re riding on it.

“There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being packed like a can of sardines on a hot, sweaty train,” the Google Maps team wrote in a blogpost. “We’re introducing transit crowdedness predictions so you can see how crowded your bus, train or subway is likely to be based on past rides. Now you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to squeeze on, or wait a few more minutes for a vehicle where you’re more likely to snag a seat.”

The latest round of updates to public transit functionality in Google Maps will also include live traffic delays that will tell users if the bus or train will be late, how long the delays are, as well as accurate travel time based on the current traffic conditions along their chosen route. By seeing the delays on the app before you even reach the bus or train stop, you’ll (hopefully) know what to expect for your morning or evening commute ahead of time. 

Along with the updates, Google released a report on transit crowdedness statistics from major cities, including which routes and transit lines are most crowded. Google analyzed data from October 2018 to June 2019 during morning rush hours.

The Urquiza Line is the most-crowded transit line in the world, according to Google. New York City’s L train was the only U.S. transit route on the list of 10 busiest transit lines.

Google has been testing out features showing the crowdedness of popular spots for a while, specifically with restaurants and businesses. Google Maps will often show you a location’s busiest times throughout the week after you look it up.

Among Google Maps’ more recent updates include real-time journey tracking, group planning tools which can help you and your friends decide where to eat based on your location and where you can find the nearest electric vehicle charging stations. You can also now see a restaurant’s most popular dishes and even see how fast you’re driving compared to the speed limit.

The public transit updates will start to roll out Thursday in 200 cities worldwide for both Android and iOS users. 

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