Public transit agencies are experts at running large, complex transit networks, but these agencies might have less experience when it comes to writing apps for the latest smart-phone. Software developers are experts at writing innovative applications that push the limits of the latest in technology, but these developers might have less experience when it comes to driving buses.

Is there some way we can leverage the skills of both these groups? We believe that common formats for exchanging public transit information are the answer. These formats allow public transit agencies to publish their transit data and developers to write applications that consume that data in an interoperable way.

This site provides various resources for working with public transit information. Specifically, the site documents a number of specifications for exchanging both static and real-time public transit information, such as info about stops, routes, schedule, service alerts, and other details. The two primary specifications of interest are:

  • GTFS: The General Transit Feed Specification can be used to exchange static transit data.
  • GTFS-realtime: An extension to GTFS, this specification can be used to exchange realtime transit data.

These formats about being used by hundreds of agencies and developers to power innovative public transit applications that benefit millions of riders all over the world.