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Project Summary

Creation of a regional GTFS feed to enable better transit service connectivity and transfer benefits.

Challenge Details

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is seeking to improve regional transit information delivery through integrated transit service and connectivity data.

MTC’s 511 Program is responsible for delivering traveler data and information for the nine county Bay Area in order to help inform commuting within the region. 511 currently collects and distributes transit data per individual transit service. 511 datasets include, among others, a static data feed in the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format. 511 collects GTFS data from all transit operators in the region and validates those against a set of quality criteria before distributing the feed to external data consumers.

Because GTFS provides data separate for each agency, this results in disparate and disconnected data that lacks the ability to provide transit riders with connectivity and transfer information. This situation leaves transit riders in the Bay Area with incomplete and inadequate information about their transit journeys that span across multiple transit services. For example, if there are fare discount opportunities between different agencies, such as AC Transit and BART, that fare discount is not currently able to be provided by commonly-used trip planners, like Google Maps, Transit App, or Moovit. Having a regional GTFS feed would allow MTC to capture the fare discount information, and share that information with other transit agencies and third party providers of transit trip planners, who could then provide this information in a user-friendly format to travelers. An integrated regional GTFS will allow for better transit journey planning across the region with cross-agency fare discounts, shared stop definition, and uniform definition of landmarks and transit hubs where multiple transit services meet.

We would like to develop a software-based process for bringing data from multiple agency GTFS feeds into a regional GTFS feed with regional IDs for routes, trips, stops, fares, etc., resulting in a common data framework that is necessary to provide service connectivity and transfer benefits. An integrated regional GTFS is expected to provide better data for:
• Shared resources such as stops, stations, hubs, and landmarks
• Fare discounts for transfers across different rider categories.

The technology concept will identify:
• Data specification changes/extensions that might be required for additional data.
• Tools that might be necessary to capture and process data for a regional GTFS.
• How existing 511 infrastructure such as the GTFS data management tool, Transit Data Manager (TDM), and the centralized Regional Transit Database (RTD) can be leveraged for a regional GTFS feed.