A new feature in Transit – Pierce Transit’s official app – uses recent passenger count data to share bus load predictions, which will help riders make informed decisions about trip planning and physical distancing. The predictions are calculated by Transit’s engineers using regularly-updated ridership trend data from Pierce Transit.
Several studies have found that when masks are worn, riding public transit carries a relatively low risk for COVID-19 transmission. That risk is further reduced when physical distancing between riders is possible.
Pierce Transit is committed to providing an informative and easy-to-use service, and its partnership with Transit as its official app provides passengers with the tools they need to practice safe physical distancing.
When users tap their bus line in the Transit app, they see a map showing the real-time locations of buses along their route. Now, the vehicle icon shows not only the last update of the vehicle’s location, but also its predicted passenger load level. Pierce Transit regularly shares stop-by-stop ridership stats with Transit, whose team processes the data to make predictions in the app showing each vehicle’s load levels over the course of its route, depending on the time of day.
Since the Transit and Pierce Transit partnership launch in October, riders have been able to report current passenger loads on their trip in real time using Transit’s “GO” step-by-step navigator, providing useful crowdsourcing data for sharing vehicle loads. Now that information will be combined with ridership trend data, making it an even more accurate tool.
Pierce Transit is among the first of Transit’s 75 agency partners to launch data-driven bus load predictions. The feature was originally developed in partnership with LA Metro, which launched the feature with Transit in August. For Pierce Transit, four of every five bus load predictions in Transit have proven accurate when compared with actual ridership data.