Avoid crowded train and bus stops with Google Maps

Since summer 2020, Google Maps has offered a function that allows public transport users to see how many people are already waiting at bus and train stops. This is intended to prevent overly large crowds.

For the vacation route, a restaurant reservation or the departure time of bus and train – Google Maps is now not only interesting for navigation. The app offers particularly useful functions for users of local public transport. It is used to sell tickets and display the departure times and delays of public transport vehicles, as well as the abundance of vehicles. Google Maps has since expanded the latter function and now also reveals how busy bus and train stops are. In this way, the service wants to enable passengers to find connections that are less busy at peak times. In this way, it should be possible to equalize larger crowds and reduce the risk of contagion in corona times.

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How many people are waiting at the stop? Google Maps knows

To provide the most accurate information possible about crowds at train and bus stops, Google Maps draws on aggregated and anonymized data from its users who have activated Google location history. Using this GPS data, the service recognizes how many people are currently at a location – similar to that of visitors in stores.

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When users click on their stop in the Google Maps map, they automatically receive info on current departure times and the number of passengers currently there or on average at certain times. They can also see on Google Maps whether the train or bus stop is barrier-free or offers other special features.

To protect the privacy of users, information is only displayed if the company has sufficiently anonymized data.

How full is the bus? Live load reveals it

Since 2019, users have been able to view the live capacity utilization of buses and trains on their routes in the Google Maps app for iOS and Android. For this purpose, the service primarily uses live data from transport operators around the world. Many transport associations in Germany pass on the location data of their vehicles to the provider for this purpose. In cases where no live data is transmitted, Google Maps uses the current traffic situation for bus connections. If there is a traffic jam on the route, for example, the resulting delay in the arrival time is calculated accordingly. If desired, users can also display exactly where their bus is stuck.

In addition to information about crowds at train and bus stops, there is another Google Maps feature that may be just as handy for some users. likely. The question is: How full is the bus? The app can be used to display how many passengers are on a particular means of transport. So even before the bus or train arrives, passengers have an indication of whether they can hope for seats or will have to settle for standing room.

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Google Maps Hide Bus Stops

Sometimes you just want to see a map without all the icons for restaurants, boutiques or bus stops. This is easily done by hiding the labels. For example, if you want to hide the bus stops on Google Maps, you can set this up in just a few steps:

  1. Switch to satellite view, as the label can only be hidden in this view.
  2. To do this, click on the menu icon and select the sub-item “Satellite” to activate the satellite view.
  3. Now open the menu again and select “Label activated”. This is then deactivated so that the label is hidden.

If you want to show the label again, simply select “Deactivate label” to reactivate the function.


  • Google Maps