Crowding Information for Riders
To keep riders informed during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are piloting new real-time information on crowding. This means you can find live crowding information for our bus routes on our website, E ink screens, and in the Transit app.
For each route, our Customer Technology team verifies the accuracy of crowding information through manual passenger counts.
When and Where You Can Find Crowding Information
Real-time crowding information is available all day, every day for most MBTA bus routes.
For some routes, crowding information may not be available yet, or may only be available on certain days or times:
You can also find weekly updates on Red Line, Orange Line, and Blue Line crowding trends on our coronavirus resource page.
How to Use Bus Crowding Information
Crowding information is now available on our website, on certain digital signs, and within the Transit app.
On Our Website
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.
You might see E Ink screens that predict crowding levels on the buses scheduled to arrive.
We describe crowding in three categories based on current social distancing standards on our vehicles: Not crowded, Some crowding, and Crowded.
We are monitoring usage and feedback and will modify these categories as public health conditions change. For example, a standard bus with 20 riders is currently labeled as "Crowded," but might not be considered crowded when social distancing becomes less necessary and the MBTA adjusts its crowding definitions.
Real-time crowding is a new data source we developed in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team is working hard to provide accurate crowding information on as many routes as possible, however, software bugs, connectivity issues along some routes, and a few buses without passenger counters installed have presented some roadblocks.
We’re working on technical improvements that should allow us to release crowding data on more bus routes. In the interim, we’re making real-time crowding information available where possible, and it is now available on the majority of MBTA bus routes.
Live crowding data for the subway and Commuter Rail isn’t available yet. However, we publish weekly updates on Red Line, Orange Line, and Blue Line crowding trends on our coronavirus resource page.
Get the latest updates on service changes related to COVID-19.