Northern California Google Transit Feasibility Study and Pilot project

Last month, the Shasta County Regional Transportation Planning Agency accepted Trillium’s Northern California Google Transit Feasibility Study.

The document is the culmination of a project begun in January 2009 to pilot rural Northern California transit agencies in Google Transit.  Currently, Redding Area Bus Authority is live in Google Transit.  Several neighboring agencies are in the Google Transit launch pipeline.

The project was funded by the Caltrans Division of Mass Transportation in response to a recommendation in the state’s March 2008 Rural Intercity Bus Study to explore Google Transit as a way of enhancing information dissemination for inter-city transportation services.  The goal of this recommendation is to make connections between services easier for passengers to find and use.

The study was commissioned to:

  • Investigate, and make progress towards overcoming, present limitations of Google Transit for rural areas and small agencies (see Chapter 3. “Trip planner pilot”)
  • Inventory and describe ways in which transit agencies can put Google Transit feed data to other uses besides trip planning in Google Maps. (see Chapter 5. “Opportunities to leverage GTFS”)
  • Inventory methods of publishing and maintaining Google Transit feed data for rural agencies. (See Chapter 4. “Google Transit feed publishing tools”)
  • Make progress towards integrating traveler information, through Google Transit and Google Transit source data, into 2-1-1 human services and information referral programs.  (See Chapter 6. “Implementation plan”)

Highlights of the findings are encapsulated in the Executive Summary.  We hope and expect that this work helps broaden participation by rural and intercity California transportation in Google Transit.


Aaron is the founding principal of Trillium Solutions, Inc. He brings experience that includes 12 years of web-development with 8 years in public transportation, with knowledge of fixed-route transportation, paratransit, rural transportation, and active transportation modes. Aaron is a recognized expert in developing data standards, web-application design, digital communications, and online marketing strategy. He originally developed Trillium’s GTFS Manager, and has played a key role in the development of the GTFS data specification since 2007.