Transitland vs. other transit data systems
When GTFS Data Exchange shut down in 2016, its creator recommended that its users and developers switch to Transitland. Learn how the two platforms for finding GTFS feeds compare.
GTFS Data Exchange operated from 2008 to 2016 as a website “designed to help developers and transit agencies efficiently share and retrieve GTFS data.”
Transit agencies provided their GTFS feeds by either registering a URL or uploading a feed version. Developers could browse the website for updates or subscribe to an RSS feed.
GTFS Data Exchange was created by Jehiah Czebotar, along with assistance from Trillium Transit and Walk Score.
GTFS Data Exchange grew to contain approximately 1,000 feeds and 13,000 feed versions.
In 2016, Czebotar closed the website to feed additions and updates. GTFS Data Exchange continues to be available in a read-only mode for users looking for older historical GTFS feed versions. The website is no longer maintained and has inconsistent service, so users should not depend upon it. GTFS Data Exchanges now points users to use Transitland or TransitFeeds.com.
If you need to download historical feed versions for public transit agencies from 2008 to 2016, GTFS Data Exchange remains a useful archive. The website does have some occasional downtime, but when it is operating, users can still download old GTFS feed versions.
For example, our team used historical feeds from both Transitland and GTFS Data Exchange analyze levels of services operated by American transit agencies during and after the “Great Recession”.
Carole Turley Voulgaris and Charuvi Begwani at the Harvard Graduate School of Design used feed archives from GTFS Data Exchange, OpenMobilityData, and Transitland to analyze when transit agencies adopted GTFS and what characterized the agencies that were quickest to do so.
Transitland regularly fetches GTFS feeds from transit agencies on an ongoing basis. Transitland has archived over 100,000 feed versions. Use the Transitland website or Transitland v2 REST API to browse this archive of feed versions.
Transitland also offers functionality that was never part of GTFS Data Exchange. For example, the Transitland v2 REST API allows developers to use GTFS entities (such as stops, routes, and trips) without downloading and processing a GTFS feed.
When announcing the shutdown of GTFS Data Exchange in 2016, its creator, Jehiah Czebotar, wrote:
https://transit.land/ has steadily been growing as a reference spot for worldwide GTFS data, and the spot for transit agencies to connect with developers. It is also built to expose schedule data from a single consistent database which makes it even easier for developers to access schedule information. Most importantly though, Transitland has a corporate sponsor Mapzen, so developers can rely on it whereas gtfs-data-exchange has always been a side project, intermittently available and sometimes neglected.
Transitland was sponsored by Mapzen from 2014 to 2017. From 2018 to today, Transitland is sponsored by Interline Technologies. We are pleased to be able to provide Transitland users with reliability and continuity.
Transitland continues to offer free plans for API access to hobbyists and academics. Interline also offers paid plans with support available to commercial users and organizations that require additional assistance.
GTFS Data Exchange helped to establish an open culture for sharing GTFS transit data feeds among transit agencies and data consumers. Interline is glad to be able to help continue this tradition through the Transitland platform.
|Platform||Data coverage||# of archived GTFS feed versions||API to access GTFS entities?||Support available?|
|GTFS Data Exchange||2006 - 2016||~13,000|
Only feed-level information available via RSS
No longer maintained. Did not offer on-call support
|Transitland||2015 - ongoing||100,000+|
Robust set of APIs for developers to access feed catalog, feed versions, GTFS entities, and GTFS Realtime information
Community support on GitHub Discussions for free users and on-call support via email with Interline for paid users