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Google Maps will now let you check how busy your commute is BEFORE you start your journey by showing delays in real-time and highlighting overcrowding on public transport Update: 28-06-2019
Your daily commute is about to get much easier thanks to two new updates to Google Maps.


The search giant is rolling out real-time information on how crowded public transport is, as well as any delays to bus routes.

It's hoped the functions will help take the stress out of your journey, by helping you to plan your transit ride more easily while staying more comfortable along the way.  

Earlier this year, a study by the Labour Party claimed overcrowding on trains in the UK has hit one of its highest levels and is set to get worse, with the most overcrowded train routes on average 187 per cent over capacity.

The most overcrowded route in 2018 was the 4.22am train from Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport, with twice the number of passengers as the service was designed to carry, the study suggested.

In the UK 18 cities and towns will have access to this new feature, including Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Crawley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield and Southampton. 

Writing in a blog post about the launch, a spokesman for Google said: 'There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being packed like a can of sardines on a hot, sweaty train. 

'We’re introducing transit crowdedness predictions so you can see how crowded your bus, train or subway is likely to be based on past rides. 

'Now you can make an informed decision about whether or not you want to squeeze on, or wait a few more minutes for a vehicle where you’re more likely to snag a seat.' 

Google is also rolling out live traffic delays for buses in locations where it does not already have access to real-time information direct from local transit agencies, informing users whether their bus is running late or on time. 

You’ll now be able to see if your bus will be late, how long the delay will be, and more accurate travel times based on live traffic conditions along your route. 

You’ll also see exactly where the delays are on the map so you know what to expect before you even hop on your bus. 

A spokesman for Google added: 'When you have an important meeting, a date with a friend, or a doctor’s appointment, often the first thing you’ll do is check the transit schedule to make sure you can make it on time. 

'Unfortunately, transit schedules don’t always reflect real-time traffic conditions that impact your ride, which can cause a lot of unnecessary stress when you end up arriving later than you thought you would.'

HOW CAN YOU FIND AND DELETE WHERE GOOGLE KNOWS YOU'VE BEEN?

Even if you have 'Location History' off, Google often stores your precise location. 

Here's how to delete those markers and some best-effort practices that keep your location as private as possible.

But there's no panacea, because simply connecting to the internet on any device flags an IP address that can be geographically mapped.

Smartphones also connect to cell towers, so your carrier knows your general location at all times.

To disable tracking on any device

Fire up your browser and go to myactivity.google.com. You'll need to be logged into Google.

On the upper left drop-down menu, go to 'Activity Controls.' Turn off both 'Web & App Activity' and 'Location History.' 

That should prevent precise location markers from being stored to your Google account.

Google will warn you that some of its services won't work as well with these settings off. 

In particular, neither the Google Assistant, a digital concierge, nor the Google Home smart speaker will be particularly useful.

On iOS

If you use Google Maps, adjust your location setting to 'While Using' the app. This will prevent the app from accessing your location when it's not active. 

Go to Settings Privacy Location Services and from there select Google Maps to make the adjustment.

In the Safari web browser, consider using a search engine other than Google. 

Under Settings Safari Search Engine, you can find other options like Bing or DuckDuckGo. 

You can turn location off while browsing by going to Settings Privacy Location Services Safari Websites, and turn this to 'Never.' 

This still won't prevent advertisers from knowing your rough location based on IP address on any website.

You can also turn Location Services off to the device almost completely from Settings Privacy Location Services.

 Both Google Maps and Apple Maps will still work, but they won't know where you are on the map and won't be able to give you directions. 

Emergency responders will still be able to find you if the need arises.

On Android

Under the main settings icon click on 'Security & location.' Scroll down to the 'Privacy' heading. Tap 'Location.' You can toggle it off for the entire device.

Use 'App-level permissions' to turn off access to various apps. 

Unlike the iPhone, there is no setting for 'While Using.' 

You cannot turn off Google Play services, which supplies your location to other apps if you leave that service on.

Sign in as a 'guest' on your Android device by swiping down from top and tapping the downward-facing cursor, then again on the torso icon.

 Be aware of which services you sign in on, like Chrome. You can also change search engines even in Chrome.

To delete past location tracking on any device 

On the page myactivity.google.com, look for any entry that has a location pin icon beside the word 'details.' 

Clicking on that pops up a window that includes a link that sometimes says 'From your current location.' 

Clicking on it will open Google Maps, which will display where you were at the time.

You can delete it from this popup by clicking on the navigation icon with the three stacked dots and then 'Delete.'

Some items will be grouped in unexpected places, such as topic names, google.com, Search, or Maps. 

You have to delete them item by item. You can wholesale delete all items in date ranges or by service, but will end up taking out more than just location markers.

Via Daily Mail

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