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GTFS

About This Document

This document describes the MBTA's GTFS feed. It is intended to supplement, not replace, documentation on GTFS itself.

Upcoming Changes

Richer station models with entrances, transfer times, elevators, escalators, parking, bike cages, and more are expected in early 2018.

Watch the MassDOT/MBTA Developers Google Group for announcements with more details.

Accessing the MBTA GTFS Feed

The MBTA GTFS feed can be downloaded here. It is updated at least 4 times a year, but is subject to change at any time. We recommend checking for a new feed on a daily basis. It is always available at the above URL.

We recommend using the "Last-Modified" and/or "ETag" headers to see whether there has been an update. "Last Modified" can be used with the "If-Modified-Since" request header, and "ETag" can be used with "If-None-Match".

Previously, this header was unreliable for this purpose, so we recommended that developers have their applications download the current feed_info.txt file and compare it to their current feed_info.txt file from their last GTFS download. This approach is now deprecated. However, feed_info.txt will continue to be available as its own file until July 2018.

Archived files are also available. 

About GTFS Fields

Status Field

Status indicates whether field is in use:

  • Included (some records)
  • Included (empty): Included, but not populated
  • N/A: Part of GTFS specifications, but not included in MBTA GTFS
  • Coming soon: Will be included in upcoming GTFS version
  • Deprecated: No longer supported
  • Persistent: Value for record will not change between one feed_version and the next

GTFS Spec Field

  • Required
  • Optional
  • Experimental: Not part of GTFS specifications, but included in MBTA GTFS

GTFS Files

Select a file name to view detailed information about its fields.

File NameGTFS SpecStatusNotes
File Nameagency.txtGTFS SpecRequiredStatusIncludedNotes 
File Namecalendar.txtGTFS SpecRequiredStatusIncludedNotes
Generated programmatically. May not be easy for humans to read.
File Namecalendar_dates.txtGTFS SpecOptionalStatusIncludedNotes
Generated programmatically. May not be easy for humans to read.
File Namefacilities.txtGTFS SpecExperimentalStatusIncludedNotesStation amenities such as elevators, escalators, parking lots, and bike storage.
File Namefacilities_properties.txtGTFS SpecExperimentalStatusIncludedNotesProperties of station amenities in facilities.txt.
File Namefacilities_properties_definitions.txtGTFS SpecExperimentalStatusIncludedNotesDefinitions of the property_ids and values used in facilities_properties.txt.
File Namefare_attributes.txtGTFS SpecOptionalStatusN/ANotes 
File Namefare_rules.txt GTFS SpecOptionalStatusN/ANotes 
File Namefeed_info.txtGTFS SpecOptionalStatusIncludedNotes 
File Namefrequencies.txtGTFS SpecOptionalStatusIncludedNotes
frequencies.txt is only used for Massport airport shuttles. If these move to a different feed, then frequencies.txt will be removed.
File Namemulti_route_trips.txtGTFS SpecExperimentalStatusIncludedNotes
For trips that travel on more than one route, this file identifies additional routes the trip should be associated with.
File Nameroutes.txtGTFS SpecRequiredStatusIncludedNotes 
File Nameshapes.txtGTFS SpecOptionalStatusIncludedNotes 
File Namestops.txtGTFS SpecRequiredStatusIncludedNotes 
File Namestop_times.txtGTFS SpecRequiredStatusIncludedNotes 
File Nametransfers.txtGTFS SpecOptionalStatusIncludedNotes 
File Nametrips.txtGTFS SpecRequiredStatusIncludedNotes 

The MBTA GTFS Archive

For those interested in historical schedule data, an archive of GTFS files previously published by the MBTA are available. They are organized by the dates for which they were available and valid. 

We made a few adjustments to the archive for accuracy:

  • Added feed_info.txt to files that did not have it
  • Adjusted the feed_start_date and feed_end_date to reflect the best date range to use for each file
  • When a feed was published to correct an error in another, we replaced the erroneous feed, rather than adding a new feed

We have not gone through earlier feeds to correct errors that were not identified at the time, or to add fields introduced in later feeds. We do not plan to do this in the future. Descriptions of each file, including their URLs, are available in CSV format in archived_feeds.txt. This file contains the following fields:

Field NameDescription
Field Namefeed_start_dateDescriptionFirst date for which this feed should be used (matches same field in feed_info.txt)
Field Namefeed_end_dateDescriptionLast date for which this feed should be used (matches same field in feed_info.txt)
Field Namefeed_versionDescriptionA human-readable name for the feed (matches same field in feed_info.txt)
Field Namearchive_urlDescriptionA URL where the feed is available for download
Field Namearchive_noteDescriptionNotes on the content of the feed

Use of MBTA data is governed by the MassDOT Developers License Agreement.