Denoting that stops have infrequent service

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Sheldon A. Brown

Oct 29, 2020, 8:08:06 AM10/29/20
I am working with a GTFS producer that would like to indicate via GTFS
that certain stops are rarely served, such as via a late night
stopping pattern only.

Instead of relying on clients of GTFS to perform a trip pattern
analysis to determine this, and designing a UI to convey this
information, they would like to provide a hint explicitly to
consumers. This could be done by something as simple as a note
attached at the stop time level.

I was wondering if there are any extensions or conventions in place
that handle similar issues.



Leo Frachet

Oct 29, 2020, 8:37:33 AM10/29/20
Hi Sheldon,

No there is not. The closest there is is the unofficial Google extension "trips.exceptional", which denotes "a service exception, such as services added due to special events or services diverted away from the usual route due to planned disruptions(trackwork)" (Source:

It has never been standardized, because we have never successfully defined what does "exceptional" mean. In your case, you're speaking about stops which are "rarely served" (but they may be served multiple times a day), is it exceptional? Is "exceptional" a station closed for 10 years? 5 years? 2 years?

My 2¢ for your issue is that you should rely on data consumers to have a great UI handling this use case, and I do not see an easy way to extend GTFS to handle your use case. I am personally always strongly pushing against notes fields, because many things can be added in notes, and nothing is harder for data consumers than to decide where and when to display a "note" field.

Leo Frachet | fr, en, de | Executive Director of MobilityData IO |

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T Sobota

Nov 4, 2020, 6:10:30 PM11/4/20
to Transit Developers
Perhaps preface this as part of the stop_desc field text, if used, in stops.txt?
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