GTFS transfers.txt file not utilised when running route analysis

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06-08-2021 09:06 PM
VeraLim
New Contributor

Hi! I have a transfers.txt file in my GTFS folder that I want the min_transfer_time in the transfers.txt file to be considered when running the route analysis. However, I realised that my transfers.txt file is not utilised in any of the GTFS toolset in ArcGIS Pro. 

I followed the steps in Create and use a network dataset with public transit data—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation closely and I realised that all the tools used in processing the network dataset do not seem to require transfers.txt file as input. 

So I am wondering if there is a tool or step that I missed out in order for my network dataset to read the transfers.txt file so that I can include the transfer time when hopping between public transit services? 

Thank you!

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5 Replies
MelindaMorang
Esri Regular Contributor

You are correct that the transfers.txt file is not used when converting GTFS into the Esri Network Analyst public transit data model.  I have investigated this in the past, but I found that I could not find reliable GTFS datasets using transfers.txt in a consistent way that I could use for testing. This is somewhat compounded by the extension to the GTFS specification for pathways and levels that was added a few years ago and which, in my opinion, is quite confusing and hard to follow.

If you are able to share your GTFS dataset, I would like to see how you are using transfers.txt. I may be able to enhance our tools in the future to make use of transfers.txt, or at the very least advise you on how to incorporate the information into the existing data model.

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VeraLim
New Contributor

Thank you for getting back! 

I am from Singapore and there is no official GTFS dataset available here yet. My agency wants to explore how GTFS can simplify the process of building a multi-modal public transport network and so we created some mock-up GTFS. The GTFS mock-up is not representative of actual public transit movements in Singapore yet so it would not be useful to share with ESRI. 

May I check if there are any courses related to building of GTFS dataset to create a multimodal network in ArcGIS that my agency can attend and learn? 

Thank you!

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MelindaMorang
Esri Regular Contributor

Okay, that makes sense. If you are creating your GTFS dataset specifically for the purpose of using with Esri tools, don't bother with transfers.txt. You might be able to manually edit in this information by applying specific delay times or restrictions using the StopConnectors feature class in the data model and adjusting the network's evaluators to use that information.

We do not have any courses related to multimodal networks. The tutorial you found is the best resource. Feel free to post more questions here if you have them, though.

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VeraLim
New Contributor

Thank you for your suggesting on using the StopConnectors feature class to include the transfer time!

I have a few questions that i hope to seek clarification from you. 

Firstly, from what I understand, the route analysis direction does not state the public transit service that it is taking as it simply states "Take public transit". I am wondering if there is a way or tool to generate more details regarding the public transit service? Since the GTFS includes the route_id and trip_id that the network dataset can reference to. 

Secondly, in the route layers, there are several fields: TotalWait_PublicTransitTime, TotalWait_WalkTime, TotalViolation_PublicTransitTime, and TotalViolation_WalkTime that are all empty. This is the case for the tutorial dataset that is provided as well. I am wondering if this is supposed to be the case? Otherwise, is there a way for me to generate these details? 

Lastly, may I know how I can limit the number of transfers in the route analysis? This is because one of the intended outcomes that I want is to create a travel mode that runs analysis with the least number of transfers, in spite of the additional time or distance cost. 

Thank you!

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MelindaMorang
Esri Regular Contributor

Regarding directions text: No, there is not currently any way to get further details in your directions. We have not updated the directions engine to report any details about the public transit service used. There are technical reasons for this. The main one is that although the Public Transit evaluator internally has access to the route and trip IDs that were used, an evaluator cannot return this information to the directions engine. It can only return the travel time. Updating evaluators to return additional information would be a major surgery in our network data model and associated code, and this is not work we have prioritized yet. Our public transit capabilities are intended for analysis, not for passenger-facing apps where directions should be used.

Regarding the TotalWait_ and TotalViolation_: These fields do not mean what you think they mean. They do not relate to the time a passenger would wait for a bus, for example. Rather, these are standard Route output fields that are only populated when using time windows. Please read this documentation for a description of what these fields mean.

 

Regarding limiting transfers: There is currently no way to do this, although it's something I know is really important! My team was recently brainstorming some enhancements that could potentially make this possible, but we do not currently have any solid plans to implement anything.