Google is expanding the number of cities where Maps offers information about public transport crowding. The number of cities covered is increasing from around 200 today, to “over 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries,” the company says. As well as crowdedness, Google says Maps is also being updated to offer more information about past travel.
Google Maps’ crowdedness information originally launched pre-pandemic in 2019, but over the past year social distancing has made it more important than ever. Crowdedness information is generated from a mixture of historical location data, as well as self-reporting from Maps users on individual trains. Google says it anonymizes the location history data used.
Google is testing giving information on the crowdedness levels of individual carriages.
As well as expanding the crowdedness predictions to more cities, Google is also making them more granular in New York and Sydney. In these cities users will see how crowded individual train carriages are instead of just general crowding on the transit line. The feature works using data provided by transit agencies themselves, and Google says it plans to expand the capability to more cities soon.
A new timeline feature shows details about past journeys.