The World Bank and other international development agencies have recognized the value of interoperable transportation data formats — GTFS in particular — for improving traveler information resources and transportation system planning processes around the world.
The February 2015 Urban Transport and ICT Capacity Building (PDF) report is worth a read. This is Holly Krambeck‘s completion report on the World Bank’s efforts to implement, promote, and utilize GTFS data around the world. It’s a brief and compelling snapshot of how a standardized dataset can open a lot of doors for better decisions and greater awareness. (I contributed to a GTFS training effort for transit agencies in China during one of these projects.)
The USA and the rest of the world are exchanging lessons in both directions. For example, the State of Oregon is pursuing many similar efforts in using GTFS as a supporting foundation for customer tools and planning as regions around the world.
“35 percent of the 100 largest cities in the world do not have complete maps of their transit networks. Of the 25 largest low and low-middle income cities, 92 percent do not have maps. As international development practitioners working on urban transit programs, we have to ask ourselves, what have we been doing all this time?” –– Holly Krambeck, The World Bank