The GBFS is a widely used standard for public dissemination of real-time micromobility data. It provides public, real-time, read-only data on bikeshare (and shared e-scooter) systems. It does not provide trip-level data or historical data.
GBFS 1 was originally developed as a stand-alone standard for providing real-time information to consumers via an open, standard data feed. It can be used on its own for this purpose. MDS is intended for private data exchange between providers and public agencies, contains historical data, and unlike GBFS, may contain sensitive information. The data exchanged using the two standards complement one another, and in fact, MDS requires that providers also have a GBFS data feed.
GBFS was originally developed by a volunteer at the North American Bike Share Association (NABSA), working in collaboration with many public and private sector organizations. In 2019, NABSA selected MobilityData to become technical steward for the standard. NABSA and MobilityData continue to partner on the effort, improving the specification and its governance to meet evolving industry needs.
GBFS provides information on stations where vehicles may be located, available vehicles, operating locations, dates, and hours, pricing, alerts, and more.
A significant number of software tools have been developed to support the implementation and use of GBFS.
Additional related resources include:
- MDS, GBFS, and How Cities Can Ask for Data from Micromobility Providers 2 – A blog post from Remix providing an introduction to MDS and GBFS, as well as a link to their guide to mobility data licensing for cities.
- GBFS Resource Center 3 – A website on all things GBFS, including the specification, tools and services, introductory material, and current change proposals.
- Understanding the Relationship Between GBFS and MDS 4 – A very short overview of the relationship between GBFS and MDS, with links to more detailed information and presentation material.
- 1MobilityData. (2018, October). General Bikeshare Feed Specification. Retrieved from github: https://github.com/NABSA/gbfs
- 2MDS, GBFS, and How Cities Can Ask for Data from Micromobility Providers, Charlie Bailey, https://www.remix.com/blog/mds-gbfs-and-how-cities-can-ask-for-data-from-micromobility-providers, October 2018
- 3GBFS Resource Center, MobilityData, https://gbfs.mobilitydata.org/, Accessed January 29, 2021
- 4Open Mobility Foundation. (n.d.). Understanding the Relationship Between GBFS and MDS. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from github: https://github.com/openmobilityfoundation/governance/blob/main/technical/GBFS_and_MDS.md