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Background Paper: The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) Makes Trip-Planning Easier — Especially During a Pandemic — Yet its Use by California Agencies is Uneven

  • Author(s): Frick, Karen Trapenberg, PhD
  • Kumar, Tanu, PhD
  • Post, Alison, PhD
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.7922/G2ZG6QJZ
Abstract

The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) is an open source data format public transportation agency use to share information about routes and vehicle arrival and departure times. A variety of trip-planning applications, including Google Maps, rely on GTFS feeds to incorporate public transit information. In April 2020, the California Integrated Travel Project conducted a Feasibility Study that called for the widespread adoption of GTFS-static (GTFS-s) and GTFS-realtime (GTFS-r) to make transit simpler for California residents; however, there is little research on patterns of information sharing across transit agencies. This background paper highlights findings from an analysis of GTFS use among agencies that report to the National Transit Database (NTD) in California. The prevalence of transit service modifications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were also studied.

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