Create your data feed

Stops & stations

You can add different types of stops and stations for various local transit options that show up in Google Maps.

A stop represents a location where a vehicle stops. This includes any of the following:

  • Bus pole
  • Tram stop
  • Subway station
  • Train station
  • Specific platform

Ideally, a real-world stop should be represented by only one stop within the GTFS feed. 

Learn more about Stop too close and Station too close validation warnings.

Define your stops & stations

Define stops and stations in the stops.txt file. The following example shows a simple stops.txt file:

stop_id,stop_name,stop_desc,stop_lat,stop_lon,stop_url,location_type,parent_station

S1,Mission St. & Silver Ave.,,37.728631,-122.431282,,,

S5,Mission St. & 18th St.,,37.761829,-122.419382,,,

S6,Mission St. & 15th St.,,37.766629,-122.419782,,,

S7,24th St. Mission Station,,37.752240,-122.418450,,,S8

Review stop location accuracy requirements

Important: The location of a stop might have changed since we last updated Street View or satellite overlay. 

For your GTFS feed to be approved, you must provide accurate location data for stops. Inaccurate data may delay your launch. To ensure your data is accurate:

  • Make sure the stop is on the correct side of the road near intersections. 
  • Confirm your stop is in the best position in relation to buildings and roads with the satellite overlay in Google Maps.
  • Check how close the position of your stop is to a stop that's already live in Google Maps Street View.

Stops in high-density areas

In urban and high-density regional areas, the accuracy of your stop location should be within a few meters of the stop. There may be other stops or obstructions in these areas. We want to make sure these maps make it easy to identify the actual stop location.

Use stop & station hierarchies

Depending on the level of detail available in your data, it may make sense to use stop and station hierarchies. The hierarchies allow you to group individual stops that belong to a larger structure like a bus terminal or a train station. 
We recommend that you use stop and station hierarchies for the following:

  • Train, metro, and tram stations 
  • Large indoor bus terminals that have multiple stops

Tip: 2 bus stops on each side of a road aren’t considered to be a station.

Assign location type values

Assign the following values to the location_type field:

  • 0 or blank: Stop. A location where passengers board or disembark from a transit vehicle.

  • 1: Station. A physical structure or area that contains one or more stops.

Use recognizable stop names

To help riders easily identify stations or platforms, keep in mind:

  • The stop_name field should:
    • Clearly and concisely identify the stop.
    • Match what's used in your agency's schedules and signage.
  • The words “stop” and ”station,” or local translations of those words, should not be added to every stop_name field. 
  • Do not add stop codes to the stop_name field. 

Assign stop codes

The stop_code field contains short text or a number that uniquely identifies the stop for passengers. As with stop_names, users should easily recognize the stop_codes field from your signage and schedules. Otherwise, the stop_codes field should be left empty.

Show a stop that serves multiple directions 

If a rider stands at the single physical stop, regardless in which direction they travel, you should:

  • Model a single stop.
  • In stop_times.txt, have the vehicle stop at the same location regardless of direction.

If a rider stands at the physical stop, or across from the physical stop, depending in which direction they travel, you should:

  • Model 2 stops, one for each place the rider is meant to stand.
  • In stop_times.txt, have each vehicle stop at their respective stop for their travel direction.

Tip: To provide additional information for riders, create a manual alert.

Other fields

The following list describes other fields in the stops.txt file.

Field Description
stop_url You should provide stop_url if there's a webpage with further information about this particular stop.
stop_desc Provide a more detailed description of the stop in stop_desc.
wheelchair_boarding

The wheelchair_boarding field identifies whether riders can board in wheelchairs at the specified stop or station. We encourage you to provide this information in your feed when available. 

Tip: You can also provide information about wheelchair accessibility throughout a trip with the wheelchair_accessible field in trips.txt. A wheelchair accessibility icon shows when information is displayed for the corresponding stop or trip.

stop_timezone The stop_timezone field contains the timezone in which this stop or station is located. You must set a value for this field if a feed covers multiple time zones.
zone_id Use the zone_id field for fare modeling. You must define this field if the fare system is based on zones or on origin and destination stations.
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