Bob Heitzman's Google Site

A not too exciting site to host file downloads.


XLS Tools for Google Transit Feed Specification (GTFS)

Google Transit(GT) is a feature of Google Maps(GM) that adds bus routes to the driving directions available on the maps. The system requires a "feed file" that describes the routes and scheduling. While the feed files themselves are straightforward building the detail records required can be a difficult task. There are commercial packages available that support large and well funded transit agencies. The XLS tools were developed to support small agencies.  

These MS Excel based tools are not copyrighted and the source can be used by anyone.

The XLS tools can be downloaded from this location.

Please report and problems or difficulties to Marcy Jaffe here. Marcy is an experienced transportation planner and is a beta tester and heavy user of the XLS tools. See will forward code bugs to me. If you are a programmer with questions feel free to contact me: rheitzman <at> gmail

These tools assume some knowledge of Excel. 

While the tools are not too difficult to use there is a significant learning curve on the tools as well as on the Google Transit feed.

Our local transportation funding agency began work on a bus trip application in 2007. The first pass was a 'build from scratch' effort by a local contractor... that didn't work out. In 2008 we began to investigate Google Transit (GT) for the trip planning. Pulling together the schedule and stop records for a GT feed file was a difficult task so I built a series of tools to convert schedule data to GT feed trip records. I also create an Import/Export tool that can generate feed files or load existing feed files and export the edited data in the feed file format. 

The next hurdle was dealing with GT back when they were only used to dealing with large agencies with programming staff. It took a while to get an agreement in place. In soon became evident that the submission and testing of the initial feeds would be time consuming as there was a steep learning curve on the GT interactions and testing/debugging the test feeds. It soon became obvious that we should hire some help to shepherd the process. At that point we found Marcy Jaffe. Soon after that local transit agency management changed and things began to fall apart. The new project leader was able to work with with Marcy to continue our efforts to bring up a single city (San Luis Obispo) in the region. Once the first city was up and running Marcy was able to bring several more city/regional players onto the original GT feed. It would have been very difficult to have our project succeed without Marcy as a stable resource.
I would like to thank Marcy for testing, using, and promoting the XLS tools. Today she supports many small and medium sized clients using the XLS tools.