April 12, 2023 12:14 pm

Success Story: Fare Media Has Officially Been Adopted!

Following the announcement of the GTFS-Fares v2 base implementation in May 2022, we are excited to follow up with the news that Fare Media has officially been adopted!

What you can do with Fare Media

Fare Media, previously called Fare Containers, is a key component of the GTFS Fares v2 proposal. It can do the following:

  • Describe what fare media is accepted (transit card, mobile app, contactless bank card)
  • Show how the fare price is based on which fare media is used by the rider

You can view data examples on gtfs.org on the examples page, and you can find open datasets that include Fares v2 on the Mobility Database: just select “fares v2” in the list of features. 

We’re also excited to share that our canonical validator has been updated to reflect this change, so you can use it to validate your data with confidence.


MobilityData has acted as an industry facilitator for public transit data specifications and open-source tools for years. For the past six months, we have worked alongside stakeholders in the mobility industry to advance Fares. With that, a new portion of the GTFS Fares-v2 extension project has been adopted – we now have Fare Media! 

This is a huge milestone for the GTFS community, as it means that Fare Media can now be used without relying on experimental fields. 

The process 

We officialized a working group in January with regular meetings, which allowed the time to be spent efficiently, with identified opportunities to collaborate. This aided in the alignment of goals and priorities. 

At the start, the working group prioritized all of the work that needed to be done in regards to Fares v2, and later worked on adopting Fare Media.

The first adopters

At least one data producer and one consumer must commit to implementing an experimental feature before a public vote is opened to adopt a GTFS extension. These first adopters invest a large amount of time and energy into experimental changes to make sure that GTFS continues to evolve.

They played a key role in the process, ensuring that the working group design was in production, and flagging flaws and risks with the proposal. 

Shout-out to Apple Maps, Interline, and Cal-ITP for being our first adopters for Fare Media!

The adoption of Fare Media is also a result of personal investment from many other organizations and individuals – a big thank you to everyone involved! 

What comes next

Looking ahead, we’re already hard at work on the next step for the GTFS-Fares v2 extension project, which is time variable fares. This includes on-peak and off-peak fares, weekday and weekend fares, and fares for special events. You can join the discussion in PR#357. You can also join the working group meetings and the #gtfs-faresv2 channel in the MobilityData slack.

For a high-level overview of GTFS Fares v2 progress, follow this page: https://gtfs.org/extensions/fares-v2/.

We’re proud of the progress we’ve made and excited to see how Fare Media will be used to enhance public transit data specifications and open-source tools in the future!