creating a multimodal transport network with overlapping transit routes in UK

05-07-2010 12:35 AM
New Contributor II
Good morning,

I am looking into the socioeconomic impact of Edinburgh's old transit system, focusing specifically on the removal of the original electric tramlines in the 1950s, taking 'snapshots' of network catchments before and after the change. I am brand new to Network Analyst and have run into some difficulties and am hoping the forum may have some advice.

My first question is if all of my transit information needs to be in the same feature dataset/ database? I am working both with bus and tram routes that have been digitized and with an ITN road database that has been downloaded from the Ordnance Survey. As there is only one computer on campus that can convert from gz to mdb, and as I've already run into some glitches, I'd prefer to play around with the database that contains this information as little as possible... I'm afraid if I touch it, I'll break it and am even considering barricading out streets that didn't exist yet in my study period rather than deleting them.  One of the IT folks in the department thinks it might be possible to use two databases at once, but I haven't figured out how.

Also, if everything needs to be in the same dataset, will the file formats all have to be the same? I.e. do all they all need to be shapefiles, or all database files, or can they be mixed?

My second- or, rather, third- question has to do with how to integrate more than one overlapping public transit route. I read in a previous forum thread that I could either model each bus route as a separate connectivity set, or use the bus route as an "elevation". I am wondering, then, how I need to code the bus/tram stops? If I have trams 1, and 2 and bus 3 meeting at a single transfer point, what "elevation" coding does the stop get? And then how do they interact with streets which have a boolean coding based on actual elevation?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you,
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New Contributor
Hi Angela,

I don't know the solution to this problem but I'm facing a similar problem myself. One potential solution would be to split the stops out into stop-route combinations, i.e. if 3 trams stop there, then you have three stops at the same coordinates, but with different elevations.

Have you solved this problem yet? If so I'd be interested to hear any insights.


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Esri Regular Contributor
Hello Angela and Renan.  Were you ever able to complete your transit studies? I just wanted to let you know about a new prototype tool from Esri's Network Analyst team which allows you to add GTFS public transit data directly to a network dataset. You can use this network dataset with the Network Analyst tools to run time-aware analyses that incorporate the transit schedules.
You can download the toolset and instructions here:
Please do not hesitate to contact me at with questions or comments about this toolset.
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