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Shapes describe the physical path that a vehicle takes, and should match real-world roads and railways. We recommend that you use satellite and aerial imagery as a reference.

A shape point is a point on the shape defined by a pair of coordinates (shape_pt_lat, shape_pt_lon). Shape points don’t need to match stop locations exactly, but the shape shouldn't be further than 150 meters away from the stop.

A shape segment is the line between two shape points. Avoid using additional shape segments to connect a stop to the shape.


Shape segments - do


shape segments don

You use the shapes.txt file to define shapes. The shapes.txt file has the following structure:

The following example shows a simple shapes.txt file:





Tools for creating shapes manually

There are some tools available that can help you to create GTFS shapes manually. These tools are normally based on an XML or KML file that can be created by drawing the lines in Google Earth or Google Maps. The tools then help you to transform the coordinates into a proper GTFS shapes.txt file.

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