The Transit Explorer database provides information on all existing, under construction, and planned fixed-guideway transit routes in North America, South American, Africa, and parts of Europe and the Middle East, as well as a large number of closed lines. Geospatial data are now available for download in CSV, GeoJson, and Shapefile formats. Urban transit data are available for the following countries, updated as of January 2023:
- United States
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Trinidad & Tobago
Africa and the Middle East
- Ivory Coast
- South Africa
- Saudi Arabia*
- United Arab Emirates*
- United Kingdom
* Metro systems exclusively.
Intercity rail data are also available for the following:
Existing standard speed intercity rail
- United States: Amtrak and Brightline service
Existing high-speed rail
- United Kingdom
Planned high-speed rail
- United Kingdom
- United States
To purchase the data for individual use: Click on one of the below buttons to pay on Stripe. Once you pay, the latest data will be emailed to you, so make sure you input your correct email address. Please contact Yonah Freemark—yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic.com—with any questions or concerns.
The data are comprehensive and detailed (last updated January 11, 2023), providing information that other databases lack, including a large number of proposed and closed lines.
All existing and under-construction fixed-guideway urban rail and bus routes in the aforementioned countries are included. Stations and lines location and related data are provided for all existing and under-construction transit. Data contents (for the global database) include:
- Stations and lines
- ~24,420 existing stations, ~1,980 under-construction stations, ~1,330 closed stations, and ~2,030 planned and proposed stations (up from 11,700 existing stations in the October 2020 release, and 19,870 in January 2022).
- ~4,900 existing lines and ~300 under-construction lines (Up from 2,040 existing lines in the October 2020 release and 3,900 in January 2022).
- Including bus rapid transit, heavy rail, commuter rail, regional rail, light rail, light metro, aerial tram, streetcar, interurban, arterial rapid transit, and tramway. Data indicate whether lines are automated.
- Location, e.g., New York, Mexico City, etc.
- Full list of dozens of regions available at the bottom of this page.
- Year opened
- Available for 91% of existing stations.
- Available for 78% of existing lines.
- The type of service, indicated both for station and lines.
- Categorized as at-grade; subway; elevated; open-cut; or along a highway.
- Construction period
- Available for 370 existing lines.
- Available for 263 under-construction lines.
- Construction costs
- Total construction costs, according to project sponsor (in local currencies).
- Federal capital grants
- Available for all projects that have received support under the U.S. federal capital grant program. Includes date grant finalized; project cost at time of finalization; federal share under this program.
- Available for 77 existing lines and 25 under-construction lines.
The database includes thousands of proposed and planned transit lines and stations. These are facilities for which governmental entities have conducted significant planning, but have not yet entered into construction. Examples include projects such as New York City’s Second Avenue Subway project to 125th Street and the Sepulveda Pass Corridor in Los Angeles.
The Transit Explorer database also includes a large number of closed lines and stations, thanks to a number of sources, including Alexander Rapp’s transit line timelines. For these, where available, the data include year closed. Data are provided for the closed elevated lines (and stations) in Boston, Chicago, and New York, as well as the historic streetcar networks of more than a dozen cities. Modern lines that were subsequently closed—including St. Louis’ Loop Trolley and San Jose’s Almaden Line—are also included.
Finally, the database includes transit projects that were planned, but then cancelled due to political changes or budgetary constraints. Examples of such projects include the San Francisco BART’s extension into Marin County and Chicago’s Ashland Avenue bus rapid transit line.
Where can I check the reliability of the data?
Most data provided with the download is also displayed graphically on Transit Explorer. You get what you see (and more! certain variables are not shown online).
Data are provided in a zip file that includes compressed data in Shapefile, GeoJSON, and CSV formats, and, once unzipped, can be opened using ArcGIS, QGIS, R, and other geospatial analysis applications (the CSV files can be opened using Excel or similar applications). Additional information, including rules related to data use, is provided in a read me/data dictionary file attached to the data.
Data can be used for a variety of research projects. Here are two examples:
- Find real-estate opportunities. Using the database’s information on new transit lines that are under construction, planned, or proposed, researchers can identify neighborhoods throughout North America that are getting new access to high-performing transit in the coming years, and that might be ripe for new investment. Overlay with zoning to find the next hot residential development location.
- Identifying the performance of recently constructed light-rail lines. Researchers can select all light-rail stations in the United States, and overlay data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the population density of surrounding neighborhoods. In so doing, researchers can make assessments about how regions differ in ensuring that transit investments are built in highly populated neighborhoods.
Recent scholarship using Transit Explorer data
Hongwei Dong (2020), Moving Toward Equitable Transit-Oriented Developments by Integrating Transit and Housing. TREC Friday Seminar Series.
Alexander Gatien (2018), Overcoming Barriers in a Shift Towards a Sustainable Transportation System. Major Portfolio, York University.
Commercial users of Transit Explorer data
Interested in commercial use?
The data provided in the above link is for individual use. For commercial use, please contact Yonah Freemark directly, at yfreemark (at) thetransportpolitic.com
How does Transit Explorer data compare to other sources?
Several other resources provide information related to transit stations and lines, but they do not provide the same information as Transit Explorer. Neither provides information for (a) systems outside the U.S.; (b) closed lines; (c) line and station grade; or (d) project costs. Nor are they up to date, as is Transit Explorer.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s National Transit-Oriented Development Database offers demographic information related to existing and proposed stations around the country. These data were last updated in 2012. No information is provided about lines, nor about station grade or costs (e.g. elevated or subway). The information is available for the U.S. only.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics’s National Transit Map provides information based on transit agencies’ GTFS data. No information is provided about station grade, project opening, costs. These data were last updated in 2018. The information is available for the U.S. only.
ITDP’s Rapid Transit Database offers global information about rapid transit mileage by city and country, but does not provide line or station mapped data.
There are transit data available from OpenStreetMap that an downloadable by advanced users. These data, however, are quite different as they are based on tracks, rather than routes, and cannot be easily exported in the form of transit lines.
List of regions with transit data included in Transit Explorer data
Listed by metropolitan area. Includes suburbs of central cities.
United States: Albany, Albuquerque, Ann Arbor, Aspen, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Bay Area (San Francisco/San Jose), Birmingham, Boston, Buffalo, Charleston, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Dubuque, El Paso, Eugene, Flagstaff, Fort Collins, Fort Lauderdale, Fresno, Galveston, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Johnstown, Kansas City, Kenosha, Lansing, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Madison, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Monterey, Morgantown, Nashville, New Haven, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Providence, Reno, Richmond, Sacramento, Salem, Salt Lake, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Juan, Santa Cruz, Seattle, Spokane, St. Louis, St. Petersburg, Stockton, Tampa, Triangle (Raleigh/Durham), Tucson, Tulsa, Virginia Beach, Washington, Waterloo, Winston-Salem
Canada: Calgary, Edmonton, Hailfax, London, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Saskatoon, St. Catharines, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Waterloo, Winnipeg
Mexico: Acapulco, Chihuahua, Guadalajara, Juarez, Leon, Mexico, Monterrey, Pachuca, Puebla, Tampico, Tijuana, Veracruz
Algeria: Alger, Constantine, Oran, Ouargla, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes
Argentina: Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Neuquen, Santa Fe
Austria: Serfaus, Vienna
Belgium: Antwerpen, Bruxelles, Charleroi
Bolivia: La Paz
Brazil: Balneario Camboriu, Belem, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Campinas, Crato, Criciuma, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Goiania, Joao Pessoa, Juiz de Fora, Maceio, Maringa, Natal, Nova Friburgo, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Sao Paulo, Sao Vicente, Sobral, Sorocaba, Telemaco Borba, Teresina, Uberaba, Uberlandia
Chile: Concepcion, Santiago, Valparaiso
Colombia: Barranquilla, Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Oruro, Pereira
Denmark: Aarhus, Copenhagen, Odense
Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo
Ecuador: Guayaquil, Quito
Egypt: Alexandria, Cairo
El Salvador: San Salvador
Ethiopia: Addis Ababa
France: Aix-en-Provence, Angers, Angouleme, Aubagne, Avignon, Bayonne, Bescancon, Bordeaux, Brest, Caen, Clermont, Dijon, Fort-de-France, Grenoble, Le Havre, Le Mans, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Montpellier, Mulhouse, Nancy, Nantes, Nice, Orleans, Paris, Reims, Rennes, Rouen, Saint Denis (Reunion), Saint Etienne, Strasbourg, Toulon, Toulouse, Tours, Valenciennes
Germany: Berlin, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munchen, Nurnberg, Wuppertal
Greece: Athens, Thessaloniki
Guatemala: Guatemala City
Ireland: Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick
Israel: Haifa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv
Italy: Bergamo, Bologna, Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Firenze, Genova, Messina, Milano, Napoli, Padova, Palermo, Perugia, Pisa, Rimini, Roma, Sassari, Torino, Trieste, Venezia
Ivory Coast: Abidjan
Mauritius: Port Louis
Morocco: Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat
Netherlands: Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Utrecht
Nigeria: Abuja, Lagos
Portugal: Lisboa, Porto, Sintra
Russia: Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara, Yekaterinburg
Saudi Arabia: Mecca, Riyadh
South Africa: Cape Town, Durban/KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria
Spain: Alicante, Asturias, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz, Girona, Granada, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Palma, Soller, San Sebastian, Santander, Sevilla, Tarragona, Tenerife, Valencia, Vitoria, Zaragoza
Tanzania: Dar es Salaam
Trinidad and Tobago: Port of Spain
Turkiye: Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, Konya, Mersin, Samsun
Ukraine: Dnipro, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih, Kyiv
United Arab Emirates: Dubai
United Kingdom: Belfast, Birmingham, Blackpool Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, West Yorkshire (Leeds)
Venezuela: Bariquisimeto, Caracas, Maracaibo, Merida, Valencia