Download transit GIS data

People often come to Steven Can Plan looking for GIS shapefiles representing transit, cities, bikeways, roads, etc… On this page I offer for download my own conversion of Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) geographic data.

To be able to offer you this information, I converted the CTA’s General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data from its website into shapefiles. Read this tutorial on how to convert GTFS to shapefiles – with my tutorial, you can make your own shapefiles from the GTFS data of any transit agency in the world. Download data from the GTFS Data Exchange, including data from BART (Bay Area, California) and WMATA (Washington, D.C.).

Bus route shapefiles

I have not verified these for accuracy (that would be a chore!). I obtained these from various sources. I recommend you stick with the GTFS data below. At least with this data, you can make some sort of history of service.

Bus and rail shapefiles

The Chicago Transit Authority doesn’t provide GIS data in shapefile format, but they provide GTFS, the next best thing. Download the CTA’s GTFS data at the Developer Center. The CTA will always have the most current version, which is probably updated no more than four times per year (only when service changes).

I’ve converted their GTFS data to shapefile and KML format for you to download.

  • Complete package: CTA_GIS_data.zip
  • Individual packages coming soon.
  • Data current as of October 10, 2010
  • Data projected in NAD83 Illinois East (feet US), EPSG 3435 (the most common and appropriate for Chicago data)

National transit data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’s National Transportation Atlas.

Data descriptions

Taken straight from readme_metadata.txt inside the ZIP file:

CTA_GIS_data.zip

Prepared by Steven Vance from the Chicago Transit Authority’s GTFS data downloaded on October 10, 2010, from http://www.transitchicago.com

Uploaded to http://www.stevevance.net/planning on October 11, 2010

Email [email protected] with questions.

Each folder contains a shapefile and its complementary files (prj, shx, dbf, etc…). Each folder also includes a KML file for the data. Filenames within folders may not match folder name.

Folder listing

  • CTA_all_stops
  • CTA_bus_lines
  • CTA_bus_stops
  • CTA_bus_train_lines
  • CTA_train_lines
  • CTA_train_stations

CTA_all_stops

Adapted from the stops.txt file in GTFS data.

Fields:

  • stop_id – Numeric, the unique stop ID
  • stop_code – Numeric, the unique stop code (all train stations have 0)
  • stop_name – Text, the local name for stop
  • stop_type – Numeric, 1 for ‘L’, 3 for bus

CTA_bus_lines (similar to CTA_bus_train_lines)

Adapted from shapes.txt and routes.txt

Fields: (137 records)

  • route_type – Numeric, Same as stop_type in CTA_all_stops – 1 for ‘L’, 3 for bus (all are bus)
  • route_id – Text, CTA’s assigned bus route number
  • route_name – Text, CTA’s assigned bus route name (as seen on bus heading)
  • route_url – Text, URL to CTA website for details on the route
  • length – Numeric, GIS calculated length of the line (for both line directions, roundtrip)

CTA_bus_stops (similar to CTA_all_stops)

Adapted from stops.txt

Fields: (11,779 records)

  • stop_id – Numeric, the unique stop ID
  • stop_name – Text, the local name for stop (usually a street intersection or street address)

CTA_bus_train_lines

Same fields as CTA_bus_lines except adds train lines.

145 records

CTA_train_lines

Adapted from shapes.txt and routes.txt

Same fields as CTA_bus_lines except only train lines.

8 records

CTA_train_stations (cta_train_stations.shp)

Adapted from stops.txt

Fields: (144 features)

  • stop_name – Text, the local name for train station

CTA_train_stations (cta_train_stations_stopid.shp)

Adapted from stops.txt

Fields: (433 features)

  • stop_id – Numeric, the unique stop ID (Same as in CTA_all_stops)
  • stop_name – Text, the local name for the train station

Note: There are 3 records per station and other seeming inconsistencies. For example, there are two distinct Roosevelt stations (one elevated, one subway), but a third Roosevelt record exists. I have not compared this third station’s stop_id with any other table to see how it’s used in the full dataset.

Disclaimer

All data that you can download from any stevevance.net property is at your own risk. Downloaders agree to indemnify and hold harmless Steven Vance and its contributors against loss or threatened loss or expense by reason of the liability or potential liability of the downloader for or arising out of any claims for damages.

If you encounter an error in my data, please email me. If you an encounter an error with CTA data you’ve downloaded, you can alert me to the error, but you should email the CTA.

flattr this!

  • Jimmy

    Thanks so much for putting this together. This is exactly what I was looking for!

    - Jimmy

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      Have you worked with the data yet?
      Did it work as you expected?

      What project(s) are you working on with this data? Care to share it with the rest of us?

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Jimmy

    Thanks so much for putting this together. This is exactly what I was looking for!

    - Jimmy

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      Have you worked with the data yet?
      Did it work as you expected?

      What project(s) are you working on with this data? Care to share it with the rest of us?

      Thanks for commenting!

  • Pingback: Chicago train coverage

  • Ben

    This data has been very helpful. I couldn’t find it from the CTA for some reason. However now the City of Chicago’s website is down at a very inconvenient time in the semester for me.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      The website is working for me but is operating slowly.

      Do you need any other data?
      What is your project?

  • Ben

    This data has been very helpful. I couldn’t find it from the CTA for some reason. However now the City of Chicago’s website is down at a very inconvenient time in the semester for me.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      The website is working for me but is operating slowly.

      Do you need any other data?
      What is your project?

  • Sjleeman

    This is a godsend. I’m in a GIS grad course right now and I’m doing a map of the “food desert” I’m new to GIS mapping and I’ve struggled to find the data I need in some cases. This is such a relief to find!

    • Sjleeman

      Followup- I’m having some trouble getting these to work in ArcMap- getting error messages for the shapefiles and it’s unable to find data for the kml files when I convert them.

      • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

        Which shapefiles are you using?
        What error message are you getting? (Quote it to me exactly, or provide a screenshot.)

        • Sjleeman

          Thanks for your quick reply! I’m using Arcmap 10. I did end up getting your shapefiles to work for the train lines and the bus lines, which ended up being better for my map anyway. It’s the stops and stations that gave me trouble. When I try the KML file it says that the conversion is being aborted, because no points were found (I have used other KML files successfully that I have created myself in Google Earth). When I try to use the shapefiles, the icon in the file selection window is a question mark, rather than the usual Arcmap shapefile icon, and when I select it it says “Open Failed” and “Error opening feature class.”

          • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

            I’ll have to try them out on Monday. If I don’t respond in 24 hours, bug me.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      The data is almost always available for something. The hardest part is knowing where to look or who to ask.
      What datasets are you using?

  • Pingback: Steven txt | Aggoman

  • Pingback: jlkutughk

  • Pingback: marketing by email

  • Pingback: newsletter software

  • Pingback: link building

  • Pingback: benchtops auckland

  • Brian Bersamin

    Hi Steven

    I downloaded your CTA package and it works great. Earlier today I downloaded the Metra Lines, Wards and Nieghboroods from the City of Chicago website. I loaded the shapefiles and I was only able to see the names in the layers. The actual line or shape was not visible. Would you know what the problem could be? Thanks! Brian

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      Hi Brian, without me looking at the projections of the different shapefiles, I want to suggest that perhaps the shapefiles are in different projections and that you are seeing the shapefiles in the “view” projection, which is thus hiding the shapefiles in a different projection. So, verify that the projections are the same. If they are the same, come back here and I will work with you to find the issue. 

      • Brian Bersamin

        Thanks Steven, I am not sure if I understand what you mean by projections. I am using VIZRT Curious Software and assigned a style to your CTA lines. I used the same style for the Metra lines from the City of Chicago. Both are in the same projection if that’s what you mean. I just loaded the MetraStations.shp which I downloaded from the city’s website. I tracked the gps point of the BNSF, Aurora Metra Line. The coordinates bring me to the coast of Spain at (long: 169.81250 lat: 136.87500 radius: 316.21) When I load the .shp files Curious only gives me the ability to assign properties for Icon, Label Fields, Encoding, Fields used to split features, and Join multiple segments into single feature. After loading, I would assign a style to the shape.

        • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

          I’ve never heard of that software. Email me a screenshot of what you’re working in. 

          Something else is “curious”: that latitude coordinate is not possible. Latitudes can only be between -90 and +90. And that longitude is not Spain. Spain’s longitude is 4°W, or -4.0. 

  • Pingback: injury claims

  • Pingback: office partitions auckland

  • Pingback: Speednet

  • Pingback: race car driving experience

  • Pingback: remanufacture breakers

  • http://www.justinnewman.com/ Justin B Newman

    While I’m not working (at the moment) with these datasets, knowing the magic term, “EPSG 3435″ was extremely helpful in finding the correct cs2cs parameters to convert Chicago’s X/Y’s… Thank you!
    cs2cs +proj=tmerc +lat_0=36.66666666666666 +lon_0=-88.33333333333333 +k=0.9999749999999999 +x_0=300000.0000000001 +y_0=0 +ellps=GRS80 +datum=NAD83 +to_meter=0.3048006096012192 +no_defs