Better Bus Buffer Preprocess Error

11-22-2022 12:58 PM
New Contributor

Hi Im trying to use the "Count trips in Polygon Buffers around Stops" tool from BetterBusBuffers and get the following message while running Step1 - Preprocess Buffers:

Creating a feature class of GTFS stops...
Error creating a feature class of GTFS stops.
Failed to create BetterBusBuffers polygons.

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<string>", line 483, in execute
File "C:\Users\smjngoed\Downloads\BetterBusBuffers(1)\BetterBusBuffers_0.13.0.4\", line 87, in runTool
StopsLayer, StopIDList = BBB_SharedFunctions.MakeStopsFeatureClass(os.path.join(outGDBwPath, "Step1_Stops"))
File "C:\Users\smjngoed\Downloads\BetterBusBuffers(1)\BetterBusBuffers_0.13.0.4\", line 680, in MakeStopsFeatureClass, "stop_id", "TEXT")
File "c:\program files (x86)\arcgis\desktop10.4\arcpy\arcpy\", line 3149, in AddField
raise e
UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xe4' in position 55: ordinal not in range(128)

Fehler beim Ausführen von (BBBPolygons_PreprocessBuffers).
Fehlgeschlagen am Tue Nov 22 21:41:28 2022 (Verstrichene Zeit: 1,92 Sekunden)


I created a network from OSM data with the OpenStreetMap Toolbox and got GTFS data from a regional service provider (this GTFS data works fine with OpenTripPlanner). I converted the GTFS data to a sql database with the "Preprocess GTFS" tool by BetterBusBuffers. The GTFS data has a greater spatial extension (state) while the network is within the GTFS spatial coverage (one region in that state).

Any idea how to fix this?

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1 Reply
Esri Regular Contributor

Hello.  I'm sorry you're experiencing this error.

You seem to be using very old software.  ArcMap 10.4 is no longer supported by Esri.  It was retired in February of 2022 (see

There's also a newer version of BetterBusBuffers available at, although I don't know if the changes there will resolve your issue. BetterBusBuffers is also deprecated because its functionality is included in the new Calculate Transit Service Frequency tool in ArcGIS Pro, which was added in the 2.9 release last year.

The best solution to your problem, if possible, is to try using the Calculate Transit Service Frequency tool in ArcGIS Pro.  Very likely the problem will be fixed.

If you're not able to update to Pro, and you still experience the problem after downloading the latest BetterBusBuffers version, then you should try removing umlauts and special characters from your filepaths.  It might be choking on something in your GTFS data, though, and there's not really anything you can do about that.

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