Trip Patterns


Patterns refer to the recurring schedules and frequencies of transit trips. They can be thought of as a template for a particular route, indicating the days of the week and times of day that trips will be available, as well as the frequency of service during those periods.

Editing/Creating Trip Patterns

To begin editing trip patterns, first click the Routes tab (outlined in red). Then, click or create a route Click the Trip patterns tab, and start editing any relevant fields including:

  • Name: The name of the pattern within the route is initially set by default to a designation like "27 stops from Willowridge Rd at Richgrove Dr to Kipling Station (13 trips)." However, it can be customized to a more meaningful label if desired.
  • Type: Specifies whether the pattern uses timetables or schedules. For more information on the differences between schedules and timetables, consult Schedules.
  • Direction: Specifies whether the pattern is inbound or outbound. This corresponds to the direction_id field in GTFS. All trips associated with this pattern will be assigned the direction provided here.
  • Editing schedules: Click Edit schedules to begin creating or editing trips/frequencies for a trip pattern. You will be redirected to the Schedule Editor. For more information on creating schedules for a pattern, see Trips.

To add a pattern, click the + New pattern button (highlighted in yellow).


Pattern editing tools:

The pattern toolbar contains several helpful buttons to help with the pattern editing process.

  • Zoom to pattern extents: Clicking the search (🔍) button (in the top toolbar) with a pattern selected adjusts the map view to show the entire pattern you are editing.
  • Duplicating pattern: Used to create a similar, but different trip pattern. When duplicating of the active pattern, its name becomes [Pattern name] copy.
  • Reverse pattern: To reverse the sequence of stops for a pattern, click the button with opposing arrows. Note: this is a destructive action and should usually only be used after duplicating a pattern.
  • Delete pattern: Deletes the active pattern. Note: deleted patterns cannot be recovered.

Stop sequence

Adding stops

To start creating a pattern, click the + Add stop button. From here, zoom in on the map and add stops by clicking on them and clicking the green plus symbol: +.

Alternatively, scroll to the end of the stop sequence and click + Add stop by name which will provide a dropdown of options to click from. From there, you'll have the option to add the stop to the end or to the beginning of the pattern.

As you add stops, the pattern shape will update according to the street network. Keep selecting and adding stops in the sequence the route passes through them until the route is complete.

Inserting stops mid-sequence

First, click the From Stops button so that Datatools knows the pattern can be regenerated by editing stops. If you realize that you have missed a stop from the sequence, it can be added after the fact. When adding via the dropdown, stops can only be added to the end of the sequence. However, if you're adding via the map, you can choose exactly where to insert the stop.

Pattern stop toolbar

The pattern stop toolbar can be found by clicking the pattern stop in the map view.

  • Save: saves any edits to the travel and dwell times.
  • Edit: allows user to begin editing the stop's details (clicking the browser Back button will bring you back to editing the pattern). Note: be sure you have saved any pattern information before jumping to edit a stop.
  • Remove: removes the stop from the pattern.
  • Add: add the stop to the sequence at an additional location. This is useful for patterns that might visit the same stop more than once (e.g., loop routes).

Changing the order of stops

First, click the From Stops button so that Datatools knows the pattern can be regenerated by editing stops. If a stop is in the wrong order, you can click and drag and drop the stop from the list view into the correct sequence.

Removing stops

Stops can be removed from the pattern by clicking the red trash (🗑) icon found in the expanded stop card or by clicking the pattern stop on the map view.

Stop timings

Calculate timings

The average speed for the route can be used to calculate all the time gaps between stops in one go. A few parameters can be specified before calculating times:

  • Average speed - average speed (in km/hr) to use when calculating timings
  • Dwell time – allows you to assign the same dwell time to all stops within a trip pattern

Once the stops have been added and the pattern alignment is drawn simply click Calc. times and the time between stops will automatically fill in.

Another option is to click the Normalize stop times button above all the stops make all arrival and departure times on the pattern match a default travel time for each stop.

Manual timings

Specific timings for each pattern stop can be set by either clicking on the stop on the map view or expanding the stop card in the list view. The two types of times that can be edited are:

  • Travel time: the time it took to get from the previous station (should be 00:00 on the first stop of the sequence)
  • Dwell time: the time the vehicle rests at the stop

Tutorial Video: Editing/Creating Patterns

The following video demonstrates how to create patterns as outlined above, in a step by step manner.

Editing/Creating Pattern Geometry

As mentioned above, pattern shapes will begin to draw automatically as stops are added in sequence. However, if you need to make adjustments to the auto-generated shape, clicking Edit pattern geometry will allow you to begin editing the shape segments between stops.

Basic editing

While editing a pattern shape, there are a few behaviors you should be aware of:

  • Dragging a handle (✕) will create a new alignment between stops or surrounding handles
  • Clicking the pattern will add additional handles to the segment
  • Clicking added handles will remove them (Note: only grey handles can be removed)

Shape toolbar

Before editing

  • Edit: Begin editing the pattern shape
  • Delete: Delete the pattern shape
  • Create: Creates alignment that follows streets from pattern stops

While editing

  • Save: Save changes to pattern shape and leave editing mode
  • Undo: Undo last change
  • Cancel: Cancel edits and leave editing mode

Edit settings

  • Snap to streets: Snaps segments between handles and stops to streets. If unchecked, segments will form straight lines between handles and stops (e.g., for drawing shapes for rail lines).
  • Hide stop handles: Keeps shape segments snapped to stops. If unchecked, stop handles will become draggable. In most cases, this setting should remain checked.
  • Hide inactive segments: Toggles whether to show segments that are not currently being edited.
  • Show stops Toggles whether stops are visible because sometimes stop markers can get in the way when trying to draw shapes.
  • Show tooltips: Toggles whether to show tips when hovering over a segment, e.g. "Click to edit segment" or "Click to add control point".

Editing modes

There are a few different editing modes that allow for the quick and easy creation of pattern shapes:

  • Drag handles: (default) Drag handles to change the pattern segment between stops. This mode is also in effect during the advanced modes listed below.
  • Add stop at click: At each click on the map, a new stop is generated and the pattern is extended to this stop.
  • Add stop at interval: At each click on the map, stops are generated along the auto-generated pattern extended to the map click at the user-defined spacing interval from 100 to 2000 meters.
  • Add stop at intersection: (experimental, not available in all regions) - at each click on the map, stops are generated along the auto-generated pattern extended to the map click according to the user-defined parameters:
    • Offset from intersection: Distance the stop should be placed from the intersection
    • Before/after: Whether the stop should be placed before or after intersection
    • Every n intersections: The number of intersections at which each new stop should be placed

Note: the last three advanced editing modes should only be used when creating routes in new areas where stops don't already exist.

Tutorial Video: Editing Pattern Geometry

The following video demonstrates the steps for editing patterns, as outlined above.