Today NYCT is releasing a draft dataset containing GTFS-Pathways data for 106 stations and station complexes. GTFS-Pathways, an extension
adopted as part of the GTFS specification in March 2019, allows feed producers to provide more detailed information about in-station wayfinding, by extending the GTFS network graph to include elements
such as mezzanines, walkways, stairs, escalators, elevators, fare control, etc. This permits GTFS-consuming applications to provide more nuanced “turn-by-turn” guidance in trip plans, referencing in-station signage that a passenger would see as they follow
an itinerary, and also provides significant benefits for accessible trip planning, particularly in locations where redundant paths are available – the elevators and escalators in this dataset are identified using the same IDs as those in our real-time status
data, enabling an application to find routes through a station which account for real-time availability of elevators.
While we are eager to receive feedback from the developer community on this draft dataset, there are some specific caveats we would like developers to keep in mind:
- This is only a draft dataset – we ask that you
not use this release in public-facing applications, but rather use it for internal development, testing, and validation purposes. It has been through several rounds of internal validation, but there may still be bugs.
- In order to decouple development of GTFS-Pathways data from our scheduling process, this dataset is being released as a standalone GTFS feed with no schedule data. However, it shares
stop IDs with our GTFS schedule and so can easily be merged with our released GTFS schedules.
- The process of developing GTFS-Pathways data for the subway has forced us to give names to entities in the system (such as entrances and mezzanines) which have not historically had
specific public-facing names. The names in the draft dataset should not be considered final, and in many cases are derived from internal nomenclature and will change before the first production release of this data.
- Due to pre-existing limitations in our base GTFS feed, all stations are modeled as having a single northbound platform and a single southbound platform. We recognize that this is
not the case in reality, and that this abstraction creates challenges for Pathways at those locations (as multiple physically distinct platforms are treated as a single logical entity). We have internally captured and modeled the data in such a way to be
able to address each platform as a distinct entity, but we will first have to introduce that level of granularity in our base GTFS schedule. We are looking at options to address this issue.
The draft dataset (along with a set of station diagrams produced using Google’s
visualize_pathways.py script) is available here:
NYCT | Subways | Technology, Preparedness, and Communications
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