General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS)

Current Status Adopted and broadly implemented
Version Number Last update February 3, 2016
Key Contacts Bibiana McHugh - Portland TriMet IT Manager
Implementing Agencies Public transportation agencies
Documentation Docs:
Founding/Sponsoring Organizations Google and Portland TriMet


Until 2005, there was no mapping platform that allowed to trip planning in anything other than a car. That year, Bibiana McHugh, the IT Manager at Portland, Oregon’s TriMet contacted Google and found that Chris Harrelson, a software engineer, was working on that problem. TriMet worked closely with Google to format the agencies transit schedules to work with the Google Transit Trip Planner and it launched in December 2005. In 2006, five more cities got on board and the project became branded Google Transit Feed Specification. Recently, the standard was renamed General Transit Feed Specification to acknowledge the agnostic aspect of the data’s purpose.


GTFS has become the common language for transit. Over 700 agencies worldwide have adopted the GTFS standard for reporting public transit schedules. While mainly used for trip planning, GTFS data can also be used for data visualization and maps, measures of accessibility and timetable creation.

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