A Methodology to Evaluate Supply Changes in Public Transit Networks Using GTFS Data

Public transit networks are in constant evolution and thus are constantly facing economic and social challenges. To improve transit agencies’ performance in such context, demand-based approach focusing on smart card data analysis has been advocated in most studies. Hence, supply and network-based approaches are yet overlooked. Against this background, this paper proposes a methodology to provide the necessary means to compare two distinct states of a network and follow its evolution through time. The notion of opportunities is introduced, setting a flexible ground for network analysis. Using GTFS data, widely available from most transit agencies, five different indicators are then derived from the opportunities: network connectivity, spatial analysis, time distribution of opportunities, people-opportunities and travel time. Additionally, a case study is conducted on the Société de Transport de l’Outaouais’ network (STO) in Gatineau, Canada. Comparing GTFS data from before and after situations, the authors' developed indicators show a slight increase in network connectivity following the implementation of a bus rapid transit service. Further analysis shows that these new opportunities are not direct paths and require at least one transfer. Opportunities’ travel times also appear to be different, with a decreased of 2.18 minutes on average. Finally, the methodology offers a structured and mostly automated way to characterize and compare public transit supply in space and over time.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AP000 Public Transportation Group. Alternate title: Methodology to Evaluate Supply Changes in Public Transit Networks Using General Transit Feed Specification Data.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Fortin, Philippe
    • Morency, Catherine
    • Trépanier, Martin
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2017


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01626857
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 17-03004
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 9:27AM