Expanding the Google transit feed specification to support opertions and planning

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, technology - geographic information systems, technology - intelligent transport systems, planning - service level


Google transit, service planning, geographic information systems (GIS), performance measures, information technology


The development of Google's free online transit trip planner has been one of the most exciting developments in transit for many years. Transit agencies that store trip information into a specific file format (the General Transit Feed Specification) and forward the data to Google's transit team will have a robust, recognizable online trip planner for free. But perhaps equally exciting is the impact of the open data architecture, which is not hidden under the veil of proprietary software and has spurred many other developments, including extending the usefulness of the General Traansit Feed Specification (GTFS) through the development of applications that leverage the GTFS data to further benefit transit agencies. This project identified opportunities to use GTFS data to support service planning and operational activity. The opportunities are limited to service-level evaluations, given the static nature of the GTFS data. Nonetheless, GTFS data can be used to support service planning efforts. Furthermore, the project identified opportunities to supplement the GTFS with performance-related information and developed a prototype application that integrated GTFS data with an automatic passenger counter (APC).


Permission to publish the abstract and link to the report has been given by NCTR, copyright remains with them.