General Transit Feed Specification Real-Time (GTFS-RT)

Item Description
Current Status Adopted
Version Number Last updated July 29, 2015
Key Contacts
Implementing Agencies Public transit agencies
Documentation Docs:
Founding/Sponsoring Organizations Google, Live Transit Updates agencies


Introduced in 2011, the specification was created through a partnership of Google’s Live Transit Updates agencies, transit developers and Google.


GTFS-RT is an extension of General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) (and essentially, a new standard) to allow public transit agencies to submit real-time location and status information about their fleets. It is currently implemented by about a dozen transit agencies worldwide. One obstacle to adoption may be the initial investment of fleet tracking systems as well as the wireless bandwidth required to communicate positions of every vehicle in a large fleet. Another factor may be the NextBus Company, which installs and maintains an enterprise GPS system for many public transit agencies.There have also been active patent disputes with ArrivalStar, a non-practicing entity (aka “patent troll”) that had been bringing patent suits against transit agencies.ArrivalStar agreed to stop pursuing transit agencies in late 2013, and this has cleared the way for agencies to release more tools that would leverage GTFS-RT.

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