BALTIMORE, MD (December 7, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) is delivering new real-time information to riders by displaying bus crowding levels through the Transit app. The feature updates information every 10 to 15 seconds, allowing riders to receive up-to-the-minute information on total bus occupancy levels. Providing real-time bus occupancy information is one of the commitments of the MDOT MTA’s Strategic Plan, Rebuilding Better, unveiled in September. This augmentation of the Transit app is an important component in helping riders feel safe and comfortable as transit ridership increases.
"MDOT MTA is proud to deliver technology that will create an improved transit experience and give riders more choice in their trip planning decisions," said MDOT MTA Administrator Holly Arnold. "This new bus crowding feature will be a valuable tool for those who want or need more space while traveling."
"Real-time information on bus occupancy levels is helpful for many riders, and this new feature gives us yet another tool in enhancing our customer experience with information that’s important to them," MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. "Communication is a critical element of MDOT MTA’s work to modernize Maryland’s transit network and provide a system that’s safe, convenient, reliable and integrated."
Through the Transit app, occupancy information will be shown in three categories:
- Not Crowded, if up to 30% of bus capacity;
- Some Crowding, between 30% and 75% of bus capacity; or
- Crowded, if the bus is more than 75% full.
To determine the current crowding level on an approaching bus, users simply tap their route line in the Transit app to allow the vehicle icon, which then displays the current crowding level on that bus. The real-time occupancy information is powered by newly installed sensors on MDOT MTA buses that provide live boarding and alighting counts.
Since June 2018, MDOT MTA and the Transit app have partnered to bring real-time tracking information to MDOT MTA Local bus, Commuter Bus and MARC Train service. Real time arrival information for Metro SubwayLink and Light RailLink are expected to launch later this year. The Transit app is available for free download on Apple and Android smartphones.
MDOT MTA operates LocalLink and commuter buses, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, MARC Train service and a comprehensive Mobility paratransit system. MDOT MTA’s goal is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. As a participating agency in APTA’s Health and Safety Commitment Program, MDOT MTA is dedicated to keeping our employees and passengers safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit https://www.mta.maryland.gov or check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland, YouTube.com/TheMTAMaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.
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