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Crowding Information for Riders

At Nubian Station late at night, a Route 1 bus bound for Harvard waits as another bus zooms by.

To keep riders informed during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, we began piloting crowding information for bus and subway. As of May 29, 2021, we’ve updated our crowding data to reflect the statewide reopening.

Two types of crowding information are available:

bus Bus Real-time Crowding

Real-time crowding information is available all day, every day for most MBTA bus routes. For each route, our Customer Technology team verifies the accuracy of crowding information through manual passenger counts.

For some routes, crowding information may not be available yet, or may only be available on certain days or times:

How to Use Bus Crowding Information

Crowding information is now available on our website, on certain digital signs, and within the Transit app.

Visit the schedule page for any route the information is available for, and then tap or click the vehicle icon on the map or the line diagram.

Animated GIF showing a user hovering over bus arrows (which show real-time locations on the map or line diagram). Hovering triggers a tool tip  with the degree of crowding on that given bus - for example, not crowded, some crowding, crowded.

You might also see E Ink screens that predict crowding levels on the buses scheduled to arrive.

subway Subway Crowding Trends

Crowding trends are available for the Red Line, Orange Line, and Blue Line and are updated weekly. These trends are estimated based on the service delivery policy. They are subject to change.

How to Use Subway Crowding Trends

Use the tool below to see recent crowding levels on the subway. We recommend traveling outside of the peak travel times whenever possible.

 

What’s Next

bus Bus

Real-time crowding is a new data source we developed in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Crowding data is now available on the majority of MBTA bus routes.

subway commuter rail Subway and Commuter Rail

Live crowding data for the subway and Commuter Rail isn’t available yet. Additionally, because our data is based on fare card taps at station faregates, crowding information is not available for Green Line and Mattapan Trolley.

Check back here for updates and to see weekly crowding trends for the Red, Orange, and Blue lines.

Contact Us

Tell us what you think! Send your questions or feedback to our Customer Support team. The data is also available to third-party app developers in our official APIs.

Coronavirus Updates

Red Line riders are seated far apart from each other, each wearing a face mask

Get the latest updates on service changes related to COVID-19.

View coronavirus updates

Related Projects

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Coronavirus Updates

Red Line riders are seated far apart from each other, each wearing a face mask

Get the latest updates on service changes related to COVID-19.

View coronavirus updates

Related Projects

View all projects