Google Maps is now asking rail commuters if their trains are full

stockholm train google maps pixabay

Google Maps, in some parts of the world, is now asking rail commuters how crowded their train is.

The move is likely an effort to bolster Maps’ public transport information offerings, allowing users to make more informed decisions. Google has in recently months, most notably at the end of 2018, improved its “commute” feature, providing tailored information for drivers and those using public transport.

Speaking of the latter, train users are now being asked by Google through a notification how many seats are available on their coach, whether the train only has room for standing passengers, or whether it’s completely “cramped”.

The notification also features details of the station at which the commuter boarded the train, as well as the time and final destination, suggesting that users may have to initiate the trip within Maps.

Google Maps wants to know how empty, cozy or overcrowded your train is

Spotted by Android Police, the feature recently hit Android but has been available for some iOS users in previous months, the publication notes. It adds that commuters in San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., Tokyo, Paris and now Stockholm have received notifications.

While it’s unlikely the service will make it to South Africa in the near future (if it ever does, the Gautrain service will probably be the only logical starting point), it’s interesting to note that Google finds crowdsourced data more reliable than data provided by the services themselves.

But in the case of South Africa’s public rail network, can you really blame Google?

Feature image: Stockholm’s S Bahn train service, by hpgruesen via Pixabay

Andy Walker: Editor
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