GTFS data for Amtrak, US

I’ve seen an edit and revert of the same in PTNA’s CSV data for US-Amtrak referring to GTFS data for Amtrak, US.

I found this source of information @ Transitland


If so, I’d like to provide GTFS support for Amtrak @ PTNA

Some backstory: Originally, Amtrak provided its GTFS feed exclusively to Google. That was unfair, so someone filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get the feed released to the public. Amtrak technically isn’t a federal government agency, so its works aren’t automatically in the public domain. However, they are subject to FOIA under a special law that gives the public a right to inspect their records, which is orthogonal to copyright law. I don’t know if we can assume the resulting records are in the public domain, as we would with other FOIA requests.

Transitland originally included a link to this FOIA’d feed in a combined DMFR file that itself is under CDLA, alongside links to other feeds that are under a variety of licenses. The “license” of the Amtrak entry simply linked to the FOIA request, which isn’t much help. A year ago, Amtrak began publishing a public GTFS feed on its website. Transitland responded by splitting the entry into a separate DMFR file, retaining the CDLA license on the DMFR file. I don’t think that has any bearing on the rights around Amtrak’s feed.

The California Integrated Travel Project was apparently involved with getting Amtrak to publish this feed. CalITP is a state government initiative whose works are automatically in the public domain, but I wouldn’t assume they actually authored this feed.

That’s a lot of words for me to say I don’t know. :sweat_smile: But I don’t think it’s under the CDLA. If you’d like a more informed answer, perhaps you could reach out to Transitland on their issue tracker.


By the way, some of the Amtrak-branded services in California are actually managed by local boards under the supervision of the California Department of Transportation. The largest of these services, Capitol Corridor, has a separate GTFS feed that should be in the public domain as a work of a California local government agency, subject to the usual disclaimer of warranty.

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So, all-in-all: unclear status? For the time being, I’ll keep my fingers away. :frowning:

Records like these exist in a gray area because the right to inspect is good enough for most purposes; the fair use and merger doctrines probably address any copyright concerns that Americans might have. But if you require a clearer status for this work that’s valid outside the country, it couldn’t hurt to ask. At this point, they obviously don’t view the feed as a trade secret or profit center, since they’re already making it public.

Thanks for the link, I’ll try.

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