GBFS & Data Principles

The General Bikeshare Feed Specification, known as GBFS, is the open data standard for bikeshare. GBFS makes real-time data feeds in a uniform format publicly available online, with an emphasis on findability.

About GBFS

Under the NABSA’s leadership, the General Bikeshare Feed Specification (GBFS) Version 1 was developed by a cross-sector team of bikeshare system owners and operators, application developers, and technology vendors. Over 230 bikeshare and scooter systems worldwide have adopted the GBFS open data standard since its release in November 2015.

In 2019, NABSA selected MobilityData to coordinate the GBFS community to change processes to meet evolving industry needs, and we continue to partner on the effort. GBFS Version 2 was released in March 2020. Improvements include micromobility provider integration into mobility apps and stronger rider privacy.

GBFS is intended as a specification for real-time, read-only data – any data being written back into individual bikeshare systems are excluded from this spec.

The specification has been designed with the following concepts in mind:

  • Provide the status of the system at this moment
  • Do not provide information whose primary purpose is historical
  • The data in the specification contained in this document is intended for consumption by clients intending to provide real-time (or semi-real-time) transit advice and is designed as such.
How is GBFS different from MDS?
  • GBFS focuses on data for the end user, while MDS is used by regulators for management of free-floating mobility devices in the public right of way
  • GBFS focuses on publicly available, real-time data, while MDS focuses on historical data
  • GBFS is currently specific to micromobility, while MDS is intended to include any Mobility As A Service device
  • GBFS is a requirement within the Provider feed of MDS

GBFS Data Specs on Github

Help Shape the Future of GBFS & Open Data for Bikeshare and Shared Scooters

NABSA is excited to begin our work to update and enhance the General Bikeshare Feed Specification (GBFS). NABSA has selected MobilityData to support GBFS as NABSA’s data consultant for this project. MobilityData works to improve the coverage, completeness, and quality of mobility data standards around the world, including the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS).

Our goals for this project are: 

  • to enable new features in bikeshare systems and applications through data standardization, 

  • to protect traveler privacy, 

  • to support data needs for oversight and planning, and 

  • to make GBFS easier to implement through specification reference clarity improvements and best practices development.

We hope you will share your valuable expertise with us!

Please take a short survey about your experience with GBFS as a developer or data contributor. It will take about ten minutes.

Through this survey, NABSA aims to better understand the business and technical needs of your organization, as related to the General Bikeshare Feed Specification (GBFS).

You can also head over to the GBFS improvement conversation happening on GitHub to chime in.

Learn More about GBFS

View NABSA’s Webinar on GBFS Enhancements and Good Practice from January 2020

In this webinar, we discussed what GBFS is, what it is good for, how best to use and engage with it, and all of the enhancements that we’ve been working on that you can expect moving forward in 2020. The video includes Spanish subtitles.

Check out this great resource on GBFS and open APIs by Transit

Read More

View NABSA’s Webinar on MDS and Emerging Dockless Data Standardization from February 2019

This webinar explained what MDS is, why it was created, and how it compliments the GBFS standard. Two cities at the forefront of dockless data collection told members how they are doing it, and MDS creators discussed what is being done about user privacy.

View the Webinar

This webinar requires a NABSA Member Center Account.
Not a NABSA member? Consider joining to gain access to this and hundreds of other resources. Learn more about NABSA membership.

View NABSA’s Webinar on Bikeshare Data Sharing from May 2018

This webinar explored how open data can make bikeshare services more transparent, effective and user-friendly.  We discussed how open data requirements can both increase ridership and aid cities in monitoring and policy enforcement.

View the Webinar

This webinar requires a NABSA Member Center Account.
Not a NABSA member? Consider joining to gain access to this and hundreds of other resources. Learn more about NABSA membership.

GBFS in Action

The potential for real-time open data information through the GBFS feed has led to some incredible projects since its launch.

Do you have a project you would like us to feature? Email

Bike share launches in the OneBusAway app

In October 2017, Google’s Summer of Code program sponsored the addition of bikeshare to the open-source OneBusAway app, using GBFS.