Google Maps can predict how crowded your train or bus will be

The public transit feature is rolling out to nearly 200 cities.

Public transit is vital for countless people, but no one wants to be stuck on a subway train or bus that's jam-packed. To help you figure out how busy your ride is going to be, you'll soon see predictions to that end in Google Maps. Google is tapping into data from previous rides to predict how packed a bus, train or subway will be.

Starting today, the feature will be available in 18 towns and cities in the UK: Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Crawley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield and Southampton. Google plans to roll out the predictions to almost 200 cities worldwide on Android and iOS.

Google Maps public transit crowdedness predictions

Meanwhile, Google Maps will also start showing live delay information for buses in places where local transit agencies don't already provide that data to Google. In a blog post, Google said the app will offer details on whether your bus will be late, how long you should expect to wait and more accurate predictions on travel times based on traffic conditions. Google Maps will also show you where the delays are, so you know what's ahead. That way, you might be able to give people a better sense when you're likely to arrive, or figure out another route that avoids gridlock.