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Using GTFS Data in ArcGIS Network Analyst

Generate GTFS Shapes - Overview

The optional GTFS shapes.txt file contains the actual on-street paths taken by transit vehicles in your system. A good shapes.txt file is important in order for GTFS-based routing apps to display transit routes correctly on the map. Read more about the shapes.txt file in the GTFS reference doc.

The Generate GTFS Shapes toolbox produces a new shapes.txt file for your GTFS dataset or allows you to edit an existing one.

To create an entirely new shapes.txt file from scratch, you give the tool a valid, existing GTFS dataset, and the tool creates a new shape.txt file and updates the shape_id field in trips.txt and the shape_dist_traveled field in stop_times.txt. Step 1 of the tool creates a feature class with good estimates for the on-street paths used in your transit system. You can edit this feature class using your own knowledge in order to ensure that the correct paths are truly represented. Then, you can use Step 2 to of the tool to update your GTFS files to include this shape information.

To edit one or more existing shapes, you give the tool a valid, existing GTFS with a shapes.txt file and choose the shape(s) you want to edit. The chosen shapes will be drawn in the map, where you can edit them. Then, you can use Step 2 to of the tool to update your shapes.txt file and the relevant shape_dist_traveled field entries in stop_times.txt.

The tools will not overwrite any existing GTFS files. You can choose the output location for the new files, and you can compare them with the old ones before manually replacing the old ones with the updated ones.

Generate GTFS Shapes is targeted primarily toward transit agencies seeking to improve their GTFS datasets.

Generate GTFS Shapes was created by Melinda Morang at Esri.

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I appreciate your questions, comments, and suggestions.
mmorang@esri.com