A RESTful interface for GTFS data.

View the Project on GitHub sangster/gtfs_engine


This “GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) Engine” is a Rails Engine which will allow your Rails application to process GTFS feeds and model their associations through ActiveRecord objects.

This project is currently a sub-component of the KnowTime Server project, but hopefully can of use to others projects. This project also depends on another GitHub project, GTFS Reader, to actually process the .zip files in which GTFS feeds are contained.


A live example is running as part of the KnowTime Server project at


You can add gtf-engine to your Rails application the same way as you would any Rails Engine. Simply:

Add the following to your Gemfile:

gem 'gtfs_engine'

And then you only have to mount the engine at some path. Add something like the following to your config/routes.rb file:

mount GtfsEngine::Engine, at: '/gtfs'

Finally, you need to import the DB migration files that define the GTFS resources used by this engine:

rake 'gtfs_engine:install:migrations'


To actually get GTFS data into your database, you need to specify the sources of your data. The easiest way to do this is to create an initializer file that species all of the GTFS data sources you are interested in. Here is an example:

GtfsEngine.sources do |source|
  source.halifax do
    title 'Halifax Metro'
    url   ''
  source.edmonton do
    title 'Edmonton Transit System'
    url   ''

That being said, the source data is only used when updating the data sources. As this is most often done via rake tasks (see below), you may want to restrict your configuration to that.



The GTFS Engine currently returns only one type of content: JSON (JavaScript Object Notation); moreover, the returned data is wrapped in a JSend-compliant response

Rake Tasks

This Rails Engine provides a few rake tasks to help you maintain your GTFS data sets.

Install Migration

rake 'gtfs_engine:install:migrations'

Like most Rails Engines, this engine defines many ActiveRecord classes, representing the various GTFS resources. This rake task will copy these migration files to your Rails app’s db/migrate directory.

List the DataSets in the database

rake 'gtfs_engine:sets:list'

This lists all of the DataSets in the database. The sets are ordered under a heading for each source.

Example Output

    ac43f674eaa0cf1:0: 2014-07-19 00:25:55 -0300 (
    d57-4f669d05eedfd: 2014-07-19 00:52:32 -0300 (http://localhost/

    52699964659bcf1:0: 2014-07-19 00:31:46 -0300 (

Update a DataSource

rake 'gtfs_engine:update[name]'

Checks the URL for the named Data Source and, if it’s new, download it and insert its resources into the DB.

Update every DataSource

rake 'gtfs_engine:update'

Updates every DataSource configured with GtfsEngine.sources.

Delete a DataSource

rake 'gtfs_engine:sets:delete[name,etag]'

Deletes the DataSet from the named source with the given etag.

Count the Resources in a DataSet

rake 'gtfs_engine:sets:count[name,etag]'

Example Output

Model count for halifax data set with etag ac43f674eaa0cf1:0
               agencies: 1
              calendars: 14
         calendar_dates: 26
        fare_attributes: 0
             fare_rules: 0
             feed_infos: 0
            frequencies: 0
                 routes: 156
                 shapes: 124191
                  stops: 2468
             stop_times: 588376
              transfers: 0
                  trips: 14853