GTFS agency-specific data potential bug

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Sharrer, Allen

Feb 10, 2023, 4:30:16 PMFeb 10

Good afternoon,

We are one of the vendors working with SFMTA and have software that is running on the buses that request priority (extended or early green lights) at the traffic lights that buses encounter throughout the system.  We use a static GTFS feed to generate a schedule that is used to a) validate the trip information provided by the bus driver, and b) determine the route the trip belongs to and adjust the bus class within our system.


Now that the feed is being provided via the site, we have found that parts of the data (i.e. – foreign key data) no longer match up between several of the files.  In particular, the routes.txt file contains double quotes around all of the data fields, where trips.txt does not. 


This was not the case before the switch to while SFMTA provided GTT the static feed on a routine basis.  SFMTA has also provided us an export of the raw data coming from the Conduent software provider that is being uploaded to, and that data does not contain the extraneous double-quotes as well.


When the full region’s dataset is downloaded (operator_id=RG), none of the files within the zip contain the double-quote characters.  It appears that these double-quotes get added to several of the files within the zip when the request URL is run with any of the individual Agency operator_id values (in the case of SFMTA operator_id=SF, but I have also reviewed DE and AC).  The list of files that contain double-quotes are:

  • calendar_attributes.txt
  • directions.txt
  • rider_categories.txt
  • routes.txt
  • route_attributes.txt
  • stops.txt
  • stop_times.txt


Can you tell me if this is expected behavior?  We believe this is a bug according to the Google developers documentation:

ID - An ID field value is an internal ID, not intended to be shown to riders, and is a sequence of any UTF-8 characters. Using only printable ASCII characters is recommended. IDs defined in one .txt file are often referenced in another .txt file. 
Example: The stop_id field in stops.txt is a ID. The stop_id field in stop_times.txt is an ID referencing stops.stop_id.


Please let me know if you need any additional information.



Allen Sharrer

Client Implementation Engineer

m. +1 (769) 242-8005


7800 Third Street North, Suite 100

St. Paul, Minnesota 55128-5441

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Sharrer, Allen

Feb 21, 2023, 5:33:50 PMFeb 21

Good afternoon, team,

I wanted to follow up on the email below and see if there is an update on this issue.




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