Mobility app provider Moovit has announced a new feature that displays real-time crowding information on buses to aid social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The information has been incorporated into its app in over 65 cities across the US, Canada, Australia, Italy and Singapore, allowing passengers to see how crowded their buses are before boarding.
Passengers can now view information on available seats, whether the bus is crowded or has standing room only, stations, line details and live directions.
“Real-time crowding information eliminates another layer of uncertainty from public transit, especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s Chief Growth and Marketing Officer.
“Knowing in advance if there will be a seat on the bus gives riders the knowledge they need to make decisions that they are comfortable with when riding mass transit. This feature is also useful for parents with strollers who may need a place to sit, during or after the pandemic.”
The Israeli startup – which was acquired by Intel in May 2020 – has also launched a second service that improves accessibility information for wheelchair users by allowing them to see which buses are wheelchair accessible.
This is in addition to the station information it already provides, offering one app to plan an entirely wheelchair-accessible journey on public transportation.
The symbol to be displayed indicating wheelchair accessibility has been redesigned by Moovit “to show a more dynamic and engaged person with disability in motion”.
Transit agencies in Hong Kong, China; Curitiba, Brazil; and Guayaquil, Ecuador are currently working with the firm on providing the service.
Moovit says that this new feature will help users make informed decisions to feel safer when riding transit.
“Having one app that shows wheelchair-accessible lines, routes, and stations can be life-changing for wheelchair users,” added Meydad.
“A vehicle that is not accessible could make getting around impossible, but a single app that makes journey planning more streamlined and simple can open up new opportunities for them.”
Image: Simon (Flickr)