GTFS/Scheduled Service Data
The General Transit Feed Specification—or GTFS—is an open format for packaging scheduled service data. GTFS data is produced by hundreds of transit agencies (including us) around the world to deliver content for inclusion in maps and directions-giving services, including Google Maps.
Learn more about the General Transit Feed Specification on Google Code.
A GTFS feed is typically presented as a series of text files with comma-separated values that conform to the specification. Each file is essentially a table in the relational database that is the whole package.
We currently include the following tables in the BCRTA GTFS Feed (links point to more detailed information on Google Code):
- agency.txt – basic agency information
- stops.txt – list of stop locations for bus and train, also includes parent station info for trains
- routes.txt– route list with unique identifiers
- trips.txt – has information about each trip taken by a BCRTA vehicle
- stop_times.txt – scheduled arrival/departure times for each stop on each trip
- calendar.txt – defines which service IDs operate on which days
- calendar_dates.txt – has exceptions to calendar (such as a holiday schedule)
- shapes.txt – defines how to draw a route line on a map
- frequencies.txt – defines headways when trips aren’t specifically scheduled, but sent as-needed (such as service that follows a major event)
<strong>How often is the GTFS data updated?</strong>
Generally, once a season, but sometimes more frequently. We distribute a GTFS package for trip planning tools as it’s needed, once the schedule is formed. While we generally only make service and schedule changes in batches a few times per year, the feed can be updated for long-term reroutes (such as the Main Street reconstruction project), as holiday schedules approach or intermediate planned changes to service are about to be implemented.
<strong>Which reroutes end up in your GTFS data?</strong>
We try to include as many reroutes as are practical in our data. However, short or unexpected reroutes are not included, due to the necessary lead-time to write and publish new schedule data.
The BCRTA implementation of GTFS is the feed delivered in a ZIP file with nine (9) tables of GTFS data.
Download the ZIP file you see listed. Only one package is posted at any given time, typically representing BCRTA service windows called seasons which are generally a few months in duration.