GTFS Realtime: essential for enhancing public transport appeal

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GTFS Realtime, more than just an option

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Understanding the GTFS Realtime feed

The GTFS Realtime (GTFS-RT) stream is a crucial tool for transport operators, enabling them to provide passengers with essential real-time updates. This stream of information includes precise arrival times of vehicles, notifications of service disruptions, and route changes.

With access to real-time updates, passengers experience enhanced service as they avoid unnecessary waits and have the confidence that they can catch their buses or coaches on time. Real-time information means informed decisions for passengers, leading to time savings and reduced inconvenience.

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Exploring the GTFS Realtime feed format

The GTFS Realtime stream captures the current state of transit operations at a given moment (time T), as compared with the theoretical data in a standard GTFS file. This comparison with the GTFS file makes real-time assessments possible.

The GTFS Realtime format delivers continuous updates across three types of services:.

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<div class="div-block-1235"><h4 class="heading-34">The three services that make up the GTFS Realtime flow</h4></div>
<p class="paragraph-68"><span class="bold_margin_bottom">Route updates</span></p>
<p class="paragraph-73">Including any delays, cancellations, or changes to the planned route.</p>
<p class="paragraph-73"><em>Example: The bus is running 5 minutes behind schedule.</em></p>
<p class="paragraph-68"><span class="bold_margin_bottom">Vehicle position</span></p>
<p class="paragraph-73">Providing exact locations and current traffic conditions for vehicles.</p>
<p class="paragraph-73"><em>Example: The bus is currently at position X at time Y.</em></p>
<p class="paragraph-68"><span class="bold_margin_bottom">Service alerts</span></p>
<p class="paragraph-73">Informing about changes to stops, unexpected incidents affecting stops, routes, or the entire network.</p>
<p class="paragraph-73"><em>Example: Station X is temporarily closed due to construction work.</em></p>

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Who uses the GTFS Realtime feed?

The GTFS Realtime feed is utilized by various tools and platforms that offer real-time traffic and public transport information, such as Google Maps.

It is also integral to:

  • MultimodalInformation Systems (MIS), enhancing public transport's appeal by informing users of available transit options.
  • Software solutions like Lumiplan incorporate this data to provide real-time passenger information for both on-board and ground-based systems.
  • Transport operators utilize the feed to disseminate information and integrate it with their operational tools.

Want to learn more about GTFS Realtime?

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Implementing the GTFS Realtime feed

To produce the GTFS Realtime stream, operators need to equip their vehicles with advanced on-board information and operating systems, known as CAD/AVL (or SAEIV in French). This system is essential for creating the real-time data feed.

Pysae stands out in providing operations supervision platform, offering connectors for displaying real-time network data, including GTFS Realtime. We comply with standard regulations (LOM law) and provide a comprehensive GTFS Realtime connector as a standardized option. Through Pysae, operators can leverage GTFS Realtime to offer passengers accurate, current information, improving their travel experience.

Advantages of Pysae operations supervision platform include:

  • Three types of updates: route updates, vehicle positions, and service alerts.
  • Network integrity is maintained in the data flow, with no alteration of input details like stop or line identifiers.
  • A genuinely real-time stream, updated every five seconds without access limitations or caching.

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<p class="paragraph-73">Asa prominent SaaS provider for public transport operations management, Pysae offers ongoing support to our clients. We supply reliable, precise operational data, enhanced GPS navigation for drivers, and real-time updates for passengers, elevating the overall travel experience.</p>
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