Getting Started

Overview

A GTFS feed is composed of a series of text files collected in a ZIP file. Each file models a particular aspect of transit information: stops, routes, trips, and other schedule data. The details of each file are defined in the GTFS reference.

See GTFS Examples for model feeds that illustrate GTFS usage. A transit agency can produce a GTFS feed to share their public transit information with developers, who write tools that consume GTFS feeds to incorporate public transit information into their applications. GTFS can be used in a variety of applications & processes (see GTFS Applications, below).

Making a Transit Feed Publicly Available

Many applications are compatible with data in the GTFS format. The simplest way to make a feed public is to host it on a web server. Developers and consuming applications can download GTFS data from the specified URL.

The best method to quickly share a GTFS dataset with a large number of developers is to register the zip file URL via websites that serve as the primary global directories of publicly accessible GTFS data:

GTFS Applications

A partial directory of the many applications that consume and utilize GTFS data is maintained at TransitWiki.

Many types of applications consume GTFS data, including:

  • Trip planning and maps – applications that assist a in planning journeys from one location to another using public transportation and other modes
  • Timetable creation – to create a printed list of the agency’s schedule in a timetable format
  • Accessibility – applications that assist transit riders with disabilities in using public transportation
  • Planning & analysis – applications that assist transit professionals in assessing the current or planned transit network, including ridership forecasting
  • Real-time transit information – applications that use GTFS data along with a real-time information source to provide estimated arrival information to transit riders
  • Public Information Displays - Electronic displays to show schedule information, service advisories, real-time arrivals and/or other information

See also: applications and services for creating and maintaining GTFS data.

Getting Help & Community

Mailing Lists

There are a number of mailing lists that can be good resources when you have questions about public transit data, software, formats like GTFS and GTFS-realtime, and other issues: