T’s Real-Time Crowding Info Expands to 23 Routes, Including the 111 to Chelsea

Transit app screenshot showing crowding data
A screenshot from the Transit app shows real-time crowding information for a 111 bus in Chelsea.

The MBTA’s real-time broadcasts of bus crowding data have been expanded to 23 bus routes, including the 111 to Chelsea.

Crowding information is now available for buses running on routes 1, 8, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 44, 66, 70, 71, 73, 77, 86, 104, 108, 109, 110 and 111.

A screenshot of the Transit app showing crowding data for buses on Route 111 in Chelsea.
A screenshot of the Transit app showing crowding data for buses on Route 111 in Chelse

The crowding data come from automated passenger counters (APCs), sensors installed at the front and rear doors that detect when someone boards or exits from the bus. Crowding levels are described as “Crowded,” “Some Crowding,” and “Not Crowded,” with standards based on lower crowding thresholds that allow for greater physical distancing on buses.

The information is included on the MTBA website and on the Transit app alongside real-time bus arrival and departure information, making it possible for riders to see, if one bus is too crowded, how long they may need to wait for less crowded buses to arrive.

The MBTA started broadcasting crowding information on nine initial routes last month. The 111, a route that essential workers rely on to cross the Mystic River into Boston, was initially omitted, has attracted widespread media attention this spring. Additional routes are being added as members of the MBTA’s Customer Technology Team verifies the accuracy of APC data in the field.



A crowd of people in bikes pedals through a wide brick plaza. In the center, wearing a black helmet and blue hoodie, is Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.

PHOTOS: Boston’s 2023 Bike To Work Day

Between 7:30 and 8:45 a.m., convoys of riders coming in from Mattapan, Dorchester, Brookline, Cambridge, Malden, Chelsea, and other cities across the region arrived in City Hall Plaza in waves, while City of Boston Transportation Department staff welcomed them with cowbells and cheers.
Bar chart illustrating monthly bus driver active headcounts and vacancies since January. The number of vacancies increased slightly in the months Jan. to March but decreased slightly in May.

MBTA News Briefs: Finally Some Better News on Bus Driver Hiring

The MBTA’s three board committees met on Thursday morning with three newly-appointed members to discuss its new 5-year capital plan, hiring updates, and meet the MassDOT’s newly-hired Chief Safety Officer. Incentives for new bus drivers get traction For the past several months, the board’s Workforce Committee has been getting regular updates on hiring efforts, with […]
The gold-plated dome of the Massachusetts State House against a blue sky, with the Massachusetts flag flying to the right of the dome in the foreground.

State House Transportation Committee Discusses Bills Regarding East-West Rail, T Oversight

The legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation hosted a hybrid in-person and virtual public hearing on Monday afternoon to discuss several bills related to transit expansion projects, East-West rail, and MBTA oversight. You can find hearing details – including information about  how to attend in person or submit testimony virtually – at the Massachusetts Legislature’s website. […]