First steps with GTFS-realtime

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Fernando Peña

Feb 16, 2022, 1:18:54 PMFeb 16
to GTFS-realtime
Hello everyone, my name is Elias and I'm very interested in working with GTFS-realtime. However, I have understood everything related to what it means and what it needs to work.

But I didn't find examples, what software I need to visualize it and even the first steps.

I don't want to generate feeds, I just want to view them and be able to use them in an application, but I would like to know what steps I should follow.

Please, I would really appreciate it.

Bodo Minea

Feb 17, 2022, 4:39:58 AMFeb 17
Hi, if my understanding is correct you're inquiring about consuming GTFS-Realtime.

Advice on this matter greatly depends on what you want to accomplish. For most of the times, GTFS-Realtime is only useful as a complement, augmenting existing static GTFS (the ZIP of CSVs) data that describes the transit network.

You could set up an OpenTripPlanner instance to consume static and realtime feeds and then query it's APIs for planning results, if accurate transit journey planning integration is your goal. If you want to play around with the raw data or manually bring it into your application or analysis, you should look at decoding libraries for the programming language you're familiar with. Google provides some libraries and examples -

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Sean Barbeau

Feb 17, 2022, 1:54:57 PMFeb 17
to GTFS-realtime
You might want to take a look at an article I wrote when GTFS Realtime v2 was released that discusses consuming feeds:

In that I mention the gtfs-realtime-bindings project, which includes software libraries in a number of programming languages that enables your application to consume GTFS Realtime feeds without having to worry about the low-level work of decoding the protocol buffer message :

There are some example demo apps using GTFS Realtime listed here:

As Minea mentioned, to really make sense of GTFS Realtime you'll need the corresponding GTFS static dataset.


Sean Barbeau
Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
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