Wheelchair boarding in GTFS stops data


Good evening all, I’d like to ask smarter minds than mine about the GTFS “stops.txt” file and the “wheelchair_boarding” field. The GTFS standard (https://developers.google.com/transit/gtfs/reference/stops-file) says that the “wheelchair_boarding” field defines whether the stop (or parent stop) allows people in wheelchairs to use the stop. I was looking at the GTFS data for NSW, and 24 out of the 38839 stops had a value of “1” (Indicates that at least some vehicles at this stop can be boarded by a rider in a wheelchair).

This number seemed a little small: I thought most bus stops in the Sydney metropolitan area would allow people using a wheelchair to board a bus, as well as most train stations. Does anyone have any advice they could share with me about this? Thanks in advance for your help!


Funny, I was playing with this just last night.

If I’m reading the documentation (p19) for bus GTFS bundle correctly, I think they fill all bus stops as wheelchair boarding as “” (i.e. null) by default. Based on the checks I’ve done off the GTFS schedule feed for realtime, I see all bus stops as either 0 or "".

For the train network, the stops can be either a platform or a “parent” station. For platforms, a 0 value means it inherits the wheelchair boarding value of its parent station.

Just doing a quick check of the trains stops.txt, all 852 platforms inherit the station’s value. For the remaining parent stations, 148 of them are listed as "1" (i.e. at least some wheelchair accessibility) and the remaining 236 are listed as "0" for no info.


Thanks jxeeno - gosh you are fast! I should have mentioned that I’m using the static GTFS zip file (from the dashboard homepage https://opendata.transport.nsw.gov.au/app/dashboard.html) rather than the live GTFS schedules… maybe there’s some differences between both versions? I’ll keep on looking into this - thanks so much for your reply :slight_smile:


You are correct that most bus stops in the metro area are probably WCA, however for bus data in both the static and ‘for realtime’ bundles, we are relying on accessibility information to come from the trip (vehicle) level. Before a systematic review of all bus stops for accessibility has taken place, we can’t specify this information in the feeds.

Wheelchair_boarding for bus stops

Thanks David for confirming that - I’ll look to updating my scripts to consider wheelchair accessibility from both the trip and the stop perspective, instead of just the stops. Thank you for your advice :-).