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Understanding and Traversing the Statewide Transit Network: GTFS Data in Oregon
Transcript of Understanding and Traversing the Statewide Transit Network: GTFS Data in Oregon
Transit Network with GTFS
Opening the Door to Multi-modal Applications for Passengers, Planners, and Managers
21st National Conference on Rural Public & Intercity Bus Transportation
GTFS Definition & Background
Trillium Solutions, Inc.
Engage with developers, transit customers
GTFS = General Transit Feed Specification
Created in 2005 by Google and TriMet
Now a de facto standard, it is is the most popularly-used data format to describe fixed-route transit services in the world
Hundreds of transit agencies in the U.S. provide public GTFS data
Active, evolving standard
The full Spec is at
Trip planning and maps
Timetable & maps creation
Accessibility / contexts
People with disabilities
Planning / analysis
plane, train, bus, and drive
bike, walk, transit, and drive
timetables, maps, and destination tables
open-source software to proof and create PDF and HTML timetables
OpenTripPlanner Analyst Extension
detours, service alerts, exceptions, arrival estimates
We’re small and we can’t provide every customized solution people ask for…. making the data available is something that we’re very familiar with so that developers can develop the tools themselves. It’s like having an army of developers available to us.
— Tim McHugh,
CTO of Portland's TriMet
Open data facilitates innovation
Over the long-term, open data reduces IT burdens on agencies, allows focus on core business
Open GTFS data offers particular utility for multimodal "supernetworks"
air + intercity bus or rail
bike + transit
bikeshare + transit
rideshare + transit
carshare + transit
specialized demand-response + fixed-route transit
transit + carshare / taxi
"The Many Uses of GTFS Data"
S. Barbeau, A. Antrim
compare and combine options:
The future of GTFS
Mendocino Transit Authority
Google Maps for mobile
trip planner, arrival estimates + other Google Maps features
Evolution and growth
GTFS producers and consumers (transit agencies and app developers) discuss potential changes
demonstrable, useful changes are adopted
some potential changes under discussion:
expansion of capabilities to describe fares: peak/off-peak, day of week, line-to-line transfers, etc.
capability to describe hail-and-ride, flex-routes, and other demand-response services
calendars & holidays
What is in GTFS?
Oregon + GTFS
Statewide transit trip planning at maps.google.com
Directory of GTFS data at www.oregon-gtfs.com
open source software for fixed-route transit, and demand response (github.com/camsys/oneclick)
Transit Network Analysis Tool:
Towards understanding of the statewide transit network.
Measurement of transit access using census and other datasets.
Transit & Trails
Interactive system map
Sonoma County Transit:
Trip planner form integration
Prominent placement on agency homepage - "Trip plans one click away"
…with other applications not far away…
Proprietary application vs. open data approach
real-time trip planner, bikeshare
People already know how to use online maps and directions.
Regular schedules can be hard-to-use.
The third most common internet activity for Americans is to “search for a map or driving directions,” (87%) behind only email and using search engines.
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project – tracking survey (2008)
Result of Florida study
Almost half of participants were unable to correctly identify bus times using the tabular schedules.
Design Elements of Effective Transit Information Materials,
National Center for Transit Research
at the University of South Florida
open-source - apps for arrival estimates/service alerts, tools
TAP by Transit Labs
performance and financial management
44 transit public transit agencies
provide GTFS data in Oregon.
33 of those through the ODOT-sponsored project.
sets up relationships and expectations
maintains data using GTFS Manager software under long-term contract to ODOT. We provide support to individual transit agencies — requesting schedule changes, answering questions on 3rd party applications (such as Google).
Oregon State University
researchers are building the Transit Network Analysis tool.
3rd party applications
(such as Google Maps) provide information to customers. ODOT signs necessary Content License Agreements.
1.) Making sure the GTFS datasets are up-to-date, and describe current service
2.) Maintaining interest and involvement on the part of transit agencies in the statewide project
1.) Provide value for transit agencies (through trip planning). Maintain dedication for long-term education and training.
2.) Simultaneously achieve state and local goals
Standards-centric, rather than application-centric, architecture helps to integrate systems
1. Use common standards
2. Produce high-quality data
3. Make datasets public — be where your customers are
4. Engage with applications, standards-communities
For long-term value: