General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data and apps

We use GTFS to open your transit schedules to maps and apps.

General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) applications open new doors by making transit easier to use. More and more passengers expect mobile phones and web-based maps to plan their trips for them. By translating your schedules into the GTFS format and maintaining this data in the cloud, we make sure your service won’t be overlooked.

GTFS is a worldwide data standard, and it is increasingly essential for disseminating public transportation information. Every day, hundreds of applications, including Google Maps, make transit more useful to riders by feeding schedule, route and fare data to web-browsers and mobile devices.  Learn more about GTFS applications

Trillium prepares GTFS data, facilitating a fast, reliable, and painless process. We’ll help to organize, prepare, and validate your transportation agency’s information, making sure your customers’ devices express the unique qualities of your service exactly right.  Learn more about how we create GTFS data

Supported web-based software provides the greatest value for keeping GTFS data up-to-date. Our system creates no software for you to install and maintain, just a streamlined online interface backed by friendly and expert support.  Learn more about web-based software for maintaining GTFS data

We help transit agencies create successful open data programs. Third-party app developers are eager to design beautiful, usable interfaces on their own time for your customers to use. Embracing open data lets you give today’s transit customers the resources they want and need.  Learn more about leveraging GTFS investments

GTFS is a worldwide data standard, and it is an essential vehicle to disseminate public transportation information.

Web-based and mobile navigation and maps applications help people to discover transportation options and make travel plans and decisions. These tools allow travelers to make decisions on-the-go, and to see transportation information in the contexts where it is useful: for example, when choosing an apartment or a restaurant. In the U.S., online maps and driving directions are one of the most popular online activities; 87% of internet users report using online maps (Pew Internet and Daily Life). More than half of Americans now own smartphones, and three-quarters of smartphones owners use them to look up directions and maps. Structuring online data in the common GTFS format makes it easy for your transit information to flow broadly around the Internet:

  • in online maps such as Google Maps, Nokia’s Here Maps, and Bing Maps
  • in mobile applications that people use on their smartphones
  • in WalkScore.com to help people consider public transportation options when they buy a house or rent a place to live
  • in the open-source OpenTripPlanner, which lets users combine biking and transit directions in a single application

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Trillium prepares GTFS data, facilitating a fast, reliable, and painless process.

Trillium has prepared GTFS data for more than 100 transit agencies. Our experience enables us to describe the variety of transit service features in the most effective possible way in GTFS, and ensure it will display correctly in the variety of GTFS applications. Delivering accurate GTFS data involves a significant data integration and testing effort. We’ve done this many times and know how to make it go smoothly and easily.

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Supported web-based software provides the greatest value for keeping GTFS data up-to-date

GTFS Manager uses a password-protected drag-and-drop interface to allow transit agency staff to make changes to transit data. Visualization features allow transit agencies to see all route alignment and stop locations and check data before it is published for inclusion in Google Maps and/or other applications. GTFS Manager can be used to maintain all required and many optional elements of GTFS data: routes, trips, stop times, transfer preferences, service calendars, holidays, and fare schedules.

Advantages of supported web-based software: Supported web-based software provides an excellent value for transit agencies. The software is consistently up-to-date with the latest data standards and bug fixes. Support is more responsive because support professionals and agency staff can literally be “on the same page” — collaborating using the same software and data.

The General Transit Feed Specification is periodically updated to incorporate new types of transit data. Consultants, transit agencies, and application developers discuss these changes on the gtfs-changes email list. Trillium consultants advocate on behalf of our clients’ needs in this forum. When things do change, Web-based software lets us quickly incorporate the changes in the GTFS Manager application and published GTFS data.

Trillium provides support for GTFS Manager software and the GTFS maintenance process whenever you need it, by email and over the phone. A screen share or webinar is used to demonstrate steps clearly. Trillium consulting staff validates GTFS at every export. If you ever need it, we can also debug any issues that might show up in third-party applications.

One more key advantage of the way we work: Supported web-based software does not mean that agencies are “locked” into one system. Because Trillium’s clients own the GTFS data, this data can be imported into other systems.

Download PDF documentation for GTFS Manager.

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We assist transit agencies to create successful open data programs.

Making GTFS an effective part of a passenger information program requires more than producing and maintaining data, because customers won’t use it unless it’s presented in the right way. Fortunately, there is now a universe of attractive, popular third-party applications able to display your data to your customers. We help you plug your data into those third-party applications, promote these applications for customer use, and collect customer feedback on how it works.

Trillium offers several services for these purposes:

  1. Data integration and testing in third-party applications, such as Google Maps, rome2rio, RouteShout, and WalkScore.
  2. Inclusion of trip planner forms in agency websites. See this example on the Trinity Transit website.
  3. Development of transit agency App Centers. See an example App Center that we created for Mendocino Transit Authority.
  4. Providing supplemental information for applications. See an example page that we created for Mendocino Transit Authority.
  5. Assistance with developing and providing terms of use for open GTFS data and accompanying feedback forms. See an example for Mendocino Transit Authority.

Trillium’s report on Leveraging GTFS data provides more information about 3rd party application opportunities.