Do GTFS-FLEX Standard Adapted for African Informal Transport?
GTFS “General Transit Feed Specification” is a standardized open data format for public transport timetables and associated geographical information (network topography: stop locations, line layouts).
The GTFS Static format allows transit agencies and public agencies to publish data in a format that can be exploited and used in applications in an inter-operable way.
The GTFS Static format allows transit agencies and companies to publish data in a format that can be exploited and used in applications in an interoperable way.
Although the GTFS Static format provides practical information on fixed routes and scheduled services, it is not designed to accommodate on-demand transportation, or informal transportation with non-fixed stops and times.
GTFS-flex is a proposed/prototype extension of the General Specification for Transit Flows. GTFS-flex would add the ability to model a variety of demand-responsive transport services to GTFS, which currently models only fixed-route public transport. GTFS-flex is in a prototyping phase during which its capabilities to model transport services are tested and adapted.
Most urban passenger transport in Africa is still informal, but routes and stops can sometimes be variable, depending on the customer. Using the GTFS Static standard for this type of transport is unsuitable because of the inflexibility of this standard.
The GTFS-Flex would be more suitable for informal transport in Africa with variable itineraries and stops. Standardizing and opening up informal transport data will be a great opportunity to improve African urban mobility.