Avoiding the Crowd: Know Before You Go with the Moovit App's Crowdedness Feature

Published: February 25, 2021

Occupancy Data and Accessibility Improvements in the Moovit App

These days, social distancing is an important part of keeping COVID-19 at bay. And for public transportation, there’s a lot of anxiety over whether riders can properly social distance themselves onboard or even in crowded stations. 

It’s our mission to make our app users’ urban mobility journeys as easy and painless as possible. Now, we’re helping them stay safe, as well.

How? We’re letting riders know how crowded the next bus will be. Armed with information on not just real-time arrival data, service alerts, and the ability to let us guide you with live guidance, but also how much space there is on the bus they’re waiting for, riders can gain the confidence they need to safely navigate public transportation. 

crowdedness feature MBTA Moovit

Agencies Helping Riders 

We’ve tracked user-reported occupancy levels in our app from the beginning, but we’re ramping it up to ease the anxiety that comes with navigating the new normal, especially when it comes to taking public transportation. 

Now, Moovit is publishing crowdedness and occupancy data within the app, alerting our users in real-time if they should expect the next bus to be crowded or whether it will have enough space to properly social distance. The feature is available for any agency that exposes its APC data via GTFS-RT or an API. 

Moovit’s crowdedness feature is now live with occupancy information from 70 agencies in four countries, including in Canada, the US, Italy, and Singapore. The feature is rolling out gradually to all users.

If you’re an agency interested in providing occupancy data to your riders, let’s talk.

Riders Helping Riders

We’ve also improved our crowdsourcing crowdedness feature so that riders can help their fellow commuters know in advance if the station or bus stop they’re waiting at is crowded or not. 

In addition to sharing information on a station’s crowdedness level, Moovit users can also help others avoid crowded buses by self-reporting within the app.

Helping People with Disabilities

accessibility features in moovit

Moovit is committed to making urban mobility easy for everyone to use, and that includes making all possible aspects as accessibility-friendly as possible. 

Before today, the Moovit app showed users if a station was accessible or not. Now, the Moovit app shows occupancy and wheelchair accessibility for bus lines and routes, as well. For people who are visually impaired, the app’s VoiceOver and TalkBack features will speak the occupancy level and wheelchair accessibility and will show larger wheelchair accessibility icons for each line. Having a single app that allows any user to plan their trips, with the additional benefit for wheelchair users of knowing whether a certain station, line or route will be accessible for them, can be life-changing, opening up new opportunities. 



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