Best Practices for GTFS

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2022-01-13 14:30:06

These are recommended practices for describing public transportation services in the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS). These practices have been synthesized from the experience of the GTFS Best Practices working group members and application-specific GTFS practice recommendations. For further background, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

The System Tags menu includes four different tags, each corresponding to a description below. Selecting one of these tags will highlight all applicable recommendations.

These practices allow arrival prediction software to create real-time arrival estimates related to the schedules in trips.txt and stop_times.txt.

Without coordinated GTFS Best Practices, various GTFS-consuming applications may establish requirements and expectations in an uncoordinated way, which leads to diverging requirements and application-specific datasets and less interoperability. Prior to the release of the Best Practices, there was greater ambiguity and disagreement in what constitutes correctly-formed GTFS data.

These Best Practices were developed by a working group of 17 organizations involved in GTFS, including app providers & data consumers, transit providers, and consultants with extensive involvement in GTFS. The working group was convened and facilitated by Rocky Mountain Institute.

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