Empirical assessment of public transit performance using General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) static and real-time feeds: a case study of bus operation delays in Columbus, Ohio

Authors: Yongha Park*, The Ohio State University, Harvey J Miller, The Ohio State University
Topics: Transportation Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: GTFS, public transit network, public transit performance assessment
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Bayside A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Public transit (PT) plays an important role for achieving feasible mobility of passengers, especially in urban areas. A PT system operates with various features including roads (and/or railways), vehicles, and stops that constitute a complex urban transit network. These networks are generally very large and include enormous active entities interacting with (un)predictable internal and external circumstances. Along with recognizing the growing demand for smart PT management, this paper is primarily concerned with a systematic assessment of the PT operational performance with a focus on actual transit service delays. The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) is used, which is a common data format to describe the public transit services regarding schedules and real-time operations, voluntarily produced and distributed by public transit agencies of many cities around the world. Synthesizing these data in an integrated form is an effective way to capture various transit operation-related attributes including the delay, also enabling us to analyze their spatio-temporal variations. A case study is focused on the public bus system of Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) in Columbus, Ohio. Recognizing that in general PT assessment models rely heavily on various sources of data and consequently require extensive efforts to collect them, we present an assessment framework, using the static and real-time GTFS information, that is potentially applicable for a city-level comparison to other cities.

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