GTFS Files or "Google Transit Feed Static Files" are a snapshot of static schedule data for a given organization. They are a raw data form of the latest schedule package for a given transit agency. Starting this year: 2023, the FTA now requires GTFS files to be made available on a public domain for the FTA and the Agency to readily maintain. Among other requirements, the FTA requires agencies to have a minimum of six underlying GTFS files encompassing data for: the Agency, Stops, Routes, Trips, Stop Times, and Calendar dates. Avail provides ten GTFS files for an extra few sources of static schedule information. In the Avail system, GTFS files are easily built during the schedule import process. The user first imports the latest schedule package for the upcoming schedule, validates the specified schedule, and finally builds the latest GTFS files related to the schedule being deployed. Once this process is completed, the latest GTFS files are located on the Avail InfoPoint tool. If the user loads the InfoPoint URL with a specified /gtfs-zip.ashx, this will automatically trigger the GTFS files to download to the user's PC for access and utilization.
GTFS Real Time Files are also useful for Google Transit certification. These files are directly related to real time information pertaining to vehicle location, on time performance, and more. Upon becoming GTFS Real-Time Certified, Avail can pass the GTFS Real Time files to Google for them to use these files in their Transit Planning Tool. This tool is can then provide real time transit information for the user. The user can specify wanted directions to a specified location, and Google's Transit planning tool will use Avail's GTFS Real Time Files to provide real time information to the User. The user will see vehicle locations, on time performance of said vehicle, the route trace, and more.
Google Transit Planning Tool using Avail’s GTFS Real Time Files with OTP