Department of Transportation Releases Geospatial Database With Data From 270 Transit Agencies

dot

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) last week released National Transit Map data, a geospatial database containing the information from 270 transit agencies that provides open, machine-readable data about their stops, routes, and schedules.

The national, openly available map of fixed-guideway and fixed-route transit service in America will allow the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to demonstrate the importance and role of transit in American society and to identify and address gaps in access to public transportation, the agency said.

It will also support research, planning and analysis on the benefits of transit, such as the economic impacts of transit on a community’s economic development, or on reducing poverty in low-income neighborhoods.

BTS has worked jointly with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the DOT Office of the Chief Information Officer to develop and release the inaugural map.

The initial National Transit Map consists of General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data feeds registered with BTS in response to a March 2016 request for the data from U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Data from 270 transit agencies provided information on over 398,000 stops and stations and almost 10,000 routes.

Development of the National Transit Map is a continuing process and another update is expected to be released by the end of 2016, the agency said.

This first version of the National Transit Map contains data for 84 percent of the top 25 urban transit agencies with fixed route service, 74 percent of the top 50 agencies, and approximately one-third of all urban transit agencies with fixed route service. 

“Measuring connectivity starts with having good data about where America’s transit connects–where transit stops are, how frequent transit service is, and where transit routes go,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wrote in a blog post.

DOT is currently working to bring additional transit agencies on board for the second version of the map, scheduled to be released in late 2016.