Network Data Standard and Management Tools

Meeting Announcement

The GMNS Project Management Group will meet at the 2020 TRB Annual Meeting in Washington DC.

  • Mon Jan 13th 1:30-3:00 
  • 159B / Washington DC Convention Center

Note that seating may be limited and will be prioritized for PMG members


This project is overseen by a board-approved Project Management Group (PMG) as follows:

  • Joe Castiglione, SFCTA (chair, board representative)
  • Michael Mahut, INRO
  • Wu Sun, SANDAG
  • Guy Rousseau, ARC
  • Chetan Joshi, PTV
  • Jeff Frkonja, Portland Metro
  • Scott Smith, Volpe
  • Natalia Ruiz Juri, University of Texas Center for Transportation Research
  • Song Gao, UMass Amherst

Project Background

Winner of the project “shark tank” as presented here by Lisa Zorn of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission at the 2017 TRB Planning Applications Conference.

The Problem Coding networks is a waste of time and prone to errors. This wastes:

  • Agency staff time + consulting resources

This limits:

  • Number of scenarios that can be run
  • Leveraging existing work
  • Access to most up to date or consistent information

The Solution General Travel Network Format Specification, Standards, + Tools.

  • Specification of network and transit data similar to what GTFS has done for transit
  • Defined Quality Standards for completeness
  • Tools to validate, edit, version control and manage networks (+ the projects that comprise them)

Why Zephyr?

Solving this problem requires buy in from a large stakeholder community spanning agencies and various industries. Will want to pool resources

Existing attempts suffer from:

  • “Not invented here” syndrome
  • Lack of mandate to follow-through

Key Challenges

  1. Getting the right people to participate and buy-in
  • Negotiating differences should include substantial due process
  • Need to make decisions while not leaving other camps behind
  1. Implementation
  • Make it easy: Developers / software vendors will need to lead in their support
  • Provide benefit early: Will need to incentivize use with alluring tools and perhaps fame


  • Requirements Documentation based on market research
  • Open Data Standard + Schema for Travel Networks (GTNS)
    • Could build upon or be a collection of existing standards
    • Documented on GitHub
    • Policies and procedures for updating and maintaining
  • Quality Standard
    • Define at least three tiers of completeness
  • Tools
    • To validate the validity and quality of data
    • Outline of additional needed tools based on market research

Benefits include:

  • Open data sharing
  • Shared tool and visualization development
  • Quality control
  • Scenario management

Feedback + Involvement

Feedback or requests to be involved can be sent to to the GNFS chair: [email protected].