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USDOT to create national public transit map

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has launched an initiative to create a "national transit map" that will display stops, routes and schedules for all participating U.S. transit agencies.

The department is asking transit agencies to voluntarily permit the collection of "general transit feed specification data" from their websites on a periodic basis, which will allow the incorporation of routing and schedule data into the transit map, USDOT officials said in a press release.

This kind of data defines a common format for public transportation schedules and associated geographic information, according to Google's Developer page.

With that information, USDOT, planning agencies and researchers will be able to identify and address gaps in access to public transportation. To participate in the national transit map, transit agencies must register their data with the department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and agree to standard terms of use.

The first "collection day" for the transit map will be March 31, when BTS will download and begin processing agencies' registered datasets.

To develop the method for collecting, storing and publishing the map, BTS  worked with the USDOT's chief information officer and office of transportation policy, as well the Federal Transit Administration.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/7/2016