multiple buses running the same trip ID in a single day?

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Anthony Townsend

Apr 20, 2021, 7:56:07 AMApr 20
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We have been noticing that more than one vehicle operates using the same GTFS trip id on a single day, on a fairly regular basis, and have had to construct a new, unique identified concatenating gtfs trip id + service date + vehicle id to distinguish them.

Anyone else notice this and what the cause is–wildcatting or operator error or ?

May 13, 2021, 2:23:05 PMMay 13
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We at Lyft have noticed this too and it's causing data quality issues because of unexpected conflicts that force us to drop some data. Specifically, we've noticed it for trip updates only - vehicle positions don't seem to have this problem.

Anecdotally, I've also hung around near the "Bethune St/Greenwich St" start of the M11 route and checked the MTA Bus GTFS-RT feed vs. reality. It seems like there are many more real-time ETAs for those early stops than actual buses that show up. This is causing our app to display false real-time ETAs for those stops. I'm wondering if the issue is related - is it possible there are extra trip updates accidentally being published for MTA buses?

MTA friends, please help and let me know if concrete examples would be helpful!


May 14, 2021, 8:22:11 AMMay 14
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Is this with the static or real time data?

Anthony Townsend

May 14, 2021, 8:30:22 AMMay 14
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My original post was in reference to the SiriVehicleMonitoring endpoint of the Siri API

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Paul Bellora

May 14, 2021, 9:28:04 AMMay 14
Interesting, in our case we’re looking at the GTFS-RT feed.

May 14, 2021, 9:54:45 AMMay 14
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I've noticed the same problem on the bus gtfs_rt. I've solved the problem by using the vehicle id, in addition to the trip id to identify an unique trip. My interest is in analyzing bus performance, after the fact. I just discard the trip/vehicle combos that don't complete the trip. I have no workaround for the people who are providing real time bus info. N.B. I'm using only the position feed. I don't know, what the trip update feed might show.

May 14, 2021, 10:03:07 AMMay 14
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The siri feed is supposed to be derived from the gtfs_rt data, as per a sentence in the spec. One difference is that the siri feed tries to extrapolate position data based on less frequent gtfs_rt. At least, that's what's in the manual. So, repeating the same mistake should not be surprising.

I have not used the siri feed, so I cannot verify thisn.

On Friday, May 14, 2021 at 9:28:04 AM UTC-4 wrote:

Paul Bellora

May 14, 2021, 10:44:23 AMMay 14
Do you mean that you’re seeing multiple vehicle positions with the same trip ID? I’m only observing trip updates that conflict that way. When you have a moment, could you provide an example?

Jeremy Shaffer

May 25, 2021, 6:20:42 PMMay 25
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I am working with historic data collected from the SiriVehicleMonitoring endpoint of the Siri API and am seeing that more than one vehicle using the same trip ID on a given service date is quite common... Here is an example:

Route: Bx19
Service Date: Feb 1, 2021

For all of the unique trip IDs logged on the Bx19 route with service date Feb 1, 2021:
  • ~82.23% were logged by 1 vehicle
  • ~14.46% were logged by 2 different vehicles
  • ~2.48% were logged by 3 different vehicles
  • ~0.41% were logged by 5 different vehicles
  • ~0.41% were logged by 8 different vehicles


Trip ID: MTA NYCT_WF_P1-Weekday-094900_BX19_313

I picked one trip ID that was logged by multiple vehicles to examine more closely: MTA NYCT_WF_P1-Weekday-094900_BX19_313. That trip ID is logged by 3 different vehicles. You can see the temporal overlap in logging in the figure below (data was collected at approximately 1 min intervals).


Here are the vehicle locations corresponding to those records:


You can see that 2 vehicles (293 and 295) share the same trip ID for a substantial amount of time (~1 hr), whereas the 3rd vehicle (674) logs that trip ID only briefly.

Is this the sort of issue that others are seeing?
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