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U.S. DOT Launches National Transit Map with 10,000 Routes' Worth of Data

The map pulls together information on transit routes, stops and schedules.

by / September 2, 2016
A map showing transit vehicle activity around the country, one tool offered through the National Transit Map. U.S. Department of Transportation

Data from more than 10,000 public transit routes is now open and mappable on a federal government website.

On Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the launch of the National Transit Map (NTM), a project pulling together standardized data from local transit agencies across the country. After putting out an open call in March for agencies to hand over their data, about 270 responded. All told, the map encompasses information about more than 98,000 stops throughout the country.

The project offers information on transit routes and schedules, and pulls in some other available information like local population. The utility of the map is somewhat open to interpretation, since it was made open with the explicit purpose of allowing users to do research and create tools to fit their individual needs. But in April, DOT Chief Data Officer Dan Morgan told Government Technology that he hopes the NTM becomes a tool for understanding what roles public transit fills, where it has service gaps and how it can be improved.

“Most importantly, it will help us understand who is served and underserved by transit,” Morgan told GovTech at the time.

The department is still accepting data from transit agencies and is offering help to those whose data isn’t already accessible. The department plans on updating and improving the map over time.