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Specification Development Process

Early Development

The California Integrated Travel Project (Cal-ITP) developed the ODS initiative in response to feedback from local transit providers and vendors. As Cal-ITP has as its core a mission to improve the quality of mobility data and increase the efficiency of transportation service delivery in the state of California, Cal-ITP conducted research and conversations with an eye toward identifying existing pain points, with the lack of a standard format between scheduling software and CAD/AVL software being identified by respondents as a major source of friction.

In 2021, Cal-ITP convened the ODS Working Group, composed of stakeholders throughout the mobility industry, for the purpose of developing and adopting a first version of ODS. These stakeholders included transit schedule firms, CAD/AVL firms, public transit providers, private transit providers, local governments and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), labor unions, and manufacturers of integrated on-vehicle hardware solutions (such as Automated Passenger Counting devices or LED signage). For a full list of participating Working Group members, go to the ODS Working Group page.

Some of the Working Group’s key initial goals were to:

  1. Create common standard for transit operational data
  2. Improve efficiency in dispatching, planning, scheduling, driver shift management, and other back-end transit operations
  3. Reduce the burden of generating data for reporting (FTA and other)

Meetings began in Summer of 2021 and continued through the end of 2021, at which point a framework for v1.0.0 had been reached. After spending several months resolving minor issues with the framework, the ODS Working Group approved v1.0.0 on May 3rd, 2022. For a full list of past meetings and videos, go to the Resources page.