APPLYING THE GENERAL TRANSIT FEED SPECIFICATION (GTFS) FOR INDIAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Sai Tejo Kiran Emani, Srinivas Kodali
In the recent times several transport agencies in India adopted Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to improve services and provide information to commuters about location and Expected Time of Arrival (ETA) of vehicles. The lack of adoption of data standards while implementing ITS systems is creating several redundant systems which might be confusing the commuters and not providing enough information for researchers to use the data being generated during implementations. The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) has become the de-facto standard to store and publish data of routes, schedules of transport agencies around the world. This paper criticizes the existing implementations of ITS by Indian agencies and provides a summary of opportunities for adoption of GTFS in the Passenger Information Systems (PIS) module of ITS. The paper provides opportunities for multi-modal transport planning and operations in a city by adopting GTFS across different agencies. For transport agencies implementing ITS, this paper provides an approach to improve their existing systems by adopting data standards and publishing information to third party information publishers like Google Maps.
For agencies which are looking forward to adopt these systems in their operations, this paper provides insights on the best practices to adopt these systems in India for improved service delivery and cost efficiency. The paper also discusses the key considerations for transit companies that want their organizations’ routes and schedules to appear within online mapping services such as Google Maps. Key steps involved in publishing the organizations’ data in the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) and the associated people and process impacts are discussed. The key takeaway is GTFS is now a viable solution for transit companies that are seeking to provide great customer service while at the same time helping to minimize their ongoing technology costs.