Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is

This site is a resource for the developer community and serves as a gateway to Metro’s web services.  It gathers several datasets into a single, centralized place.

Who is doing this?

This site was created as part of a collaboration between Metro’s Communications and Operations departments. We hope to foster open data and collaboration with our customers and the developer community.

Are you charging money for the data?

The data is FREE, though we require that users agree to our Terms and Conditions before using the data. You may also refer to Metro’s Privacy Policy and Comments Policy.

What will I find on

We offer both downloadable data sets and web services. The data differs in both substance and use. For example, the Trip Planner Information Feed is a suite of complementary web services that return data in two open and popular formats (XML and JSON); the GTFS data is published in an open format, and there is a growing body of open-source code available for working with GTFS data; the GIS data is published as ESRI Shapefiles. While not open, this format is widely used and many open-source tools are available to parse it.

How do I use the data?

The site is targeted at users with a background in code development. That said, we wish to make using the data as easy as possible.

Schedule / GTFS Questions

Why are you publishing schedules this way?

We want to enable the development of technologies and applications that reach a broad audience and encourage more people to ride Metro. The GTFS data set gives you access to route, stop, and schedule information for Metro’s 200+ routes.

Why use this format?

GTFS is a lightweight open format that provides a relatively easy way to exchange transit data.

What can I do with these data?

The sky’s the limit! To ensure you are giving out good data, you must use the freshest data set available. This website will always have the latest version of our data. Please update your data early and often.

When will you have all LA county transit data for GTFS?

Our GTFS data is generated by an enterprise system that isn’t available to smaller transportation agencies. We are investigating ways of helping all agencies in the region to prepare data in the GTFS format.

General GIS Questions

I do not have ArcSoft software, how can I use these files?

If you just wish to view the files, ESRI provides ArcReader for free on Linux, Windows and Sun’s Solaris platforms.  Download here:

For free and open source software that can interact with shapefiles, use these:

See the excellent Wikipedia entry on shapefiles to learn more about this file format:

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