Toward an Open Transit Service Data Standard in Developing Asian Countries

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, technology - intelligent transport systems


transit service information databases, general transit feed specification (GTFS), developing countries


To determine the viability of using transit service information databases that used the general transit feed specification (GTFS) as a low-cost first step toward addressing common transit system issues in developing countries, a team from the World Bank undertook GTFS pilot programs in Manila, Philippines; Haiphong, Vietnam; and Zhengzhou, China. These cities represented a diverse cross section of local conditions and challenges. Through these pilot activities, the World Bank team learned two things: (a) GTFS databases did have the potential to help developing cities overcome, for the first time, challenges that they faced for many years and (b) GTFS databases were very difficult to establish and maintain in developing countries. To support practitioners seeking to undertake GTFS programs in developing countries, this paper walks readers through the steps undertaken to design and implement the pilot activities, citing both successes and specific lessons learned throughout.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.