Métro Métro

If you want to add a new city in Métro 's list or enhance an existing database with new lines, it's really easy. Just send us a simple text file containing the complete station list on each line (with some text explanations for branches or one-way sections if applicable). We will send you back a compiled database a few days later.

For more accurate results, you can add:

  • The lines' operating days & hours
  • Line color scheme (web-coded if possible)
  • Travel times
  • Service frequency
  • And other details... (but no timetables, there is no way we can use them)

To add "interesting places", it's just as simple: send us a text file giving the nearest station(s) for each place.

And if you want to provide geographic coordinates for i-Métro (and, in the future, for cartographic features to be added in the PDA/Smartphone version), it just requires a table with the stops name, longitude & latitude.


Lines prefixed with a ";" are comments, lines in gray are explanations, and are not required in your file):

Line 1
; Operating 5:00 - 23:00 weekdays / 6:00-0:00 Saturday / 8:00-23:00 Sunday
; Travel 30 minutes (about 1 minute 45 seconds per stop / except: 4min between Stop12 and Stop13)
; Color red: #FF0000
; Subway icon

Line 2
; Operating 5:00 - 23:00 weekdays / 6:00-0:00 Saturday / 8:00-23:00 Sunday
; Travel 25 minutes (about 1 minute 40 seconds per stop)
; Color blue: #0000CC
; Subway icon
; Stop3 is on line 1 : a connection is automatically made between line 1 & 2

Bus line A
; Operating 7:00 - 20:00
; Travel 25 minutes (about 1 minute 20 seconds per stop)
; Color green: #00CC00
; Bus icon
; The line stops at Stop31 only in "forward" direction (from Stop30 toward Stop40) and Stop32 only "backwards" (from Stop 40 toward Stop30)
Stop31 +
Stop32 -

Bus line B
; Operating 7:00 - 20:00
; Travel 25 minutes (about 1 minute 20 seconds per stop)
; Color purple: #FF00FF
; Bus icon
; 2 branches from this point: 1 to Stop46 and 1 to Stop56
; First branch
; Second branch

Extra connections
; Line 1 and bus line A are connected at Stop1 / Stop30 (the stops are within walking distance)
Stop1      Stop30

Places of interest
; Place1 is reachable on line 1 & 2
Place1     Stop3
; Place2 is reachable on line 1 & bus line A
Place2     Stop1       Stop30

; Stop 1 is located at 2.12345 degrees of longitude (east) and 47.56789 degrees of latitude (north)
Stop1      212345      4756789

Once you have the data ready, send it to Patrice, who will build a database and send it back to you a few days later.


This is an extract from our Paris data, that you may check with the network map on the RATP web site.

This example tries to illustrate every supported feature in our data sets. Don't be frightened if it looks too complex for you: all the information here is not required to build a file (although it is useful for a complete and very accurate database).

Data Comments
Ligne 7
; Color: #FFAB97
; Subway icon
; Operating: 5:30-0:30, Saturday night until 1:30 Since the program lets you choose only "round" hours, these times will be approximated (6:00 to 1:00 or 2:00, in that case).
; About 1'30" per stop (about 50 minutes for an end-to-end trip, on either branch) You may specify the complete trip time or the interval between stops, which may be given with a 10-seconds accuracy.
; Frequency: every 4 minutes (rush hour) The frequency is only used to select the most frequent lines when there is a choice. Therefore, we usually select the frequency at rush hours as a reference.
La Courneuve-8 Mai 1945
Fort d'Aubervilliers
Aubervilliers-Pantin-4 Chemins
Porte de la Villette
Corentin Cariou
Louis Blanc
Château Landon
Gare de l'Est
Le Peletier
Chaussée d'Antin-La Fayette
Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre
Pont Neuf
Pont Marie
Place Monge
Censier Daubenton
Les Gobelins
Place d'Italie
Maison Blanche
This is the actual line route... Well, the first part of it, at least.
; First branch Here the line is separated in 2 branches, let's describe them.
; Frequency: 10 minutes The frequency is about half that of the main branch.
; Operating: same as main branch It is possible to have branches operating at different times from the main one. This also allows for alternates routes at different times.
Maison Blanche
Le Kremlin-Bicêtre
Villejuif-Léo Lagrange
Villejuif-Paul Vaillant Couturier
Villejuif-Louis Aragon
Route for the first branch. Note that the first stop is where the split occurs (it is repeated on all the branches).
; Second branch If not specified, we'll assume it operates on the same times as the main branch and at half its frequency.
Maison Blanche
Porte d'Italie
Porte de Choisy
Porte d'Ivry
Pierre et Marie Curie
Mairie d'Ivry
Route for the second branch.
Ligne 7b
; Color: #6FBC8D
; Subway icon
; Operating: 5:30-0:30, Saturday night until 1:30
; Frequency: 10 minutes
; Trip time: about 10 minutes end-to-end
This line is interesting because it ends in a loop.
Louis Blanc
Buttes Chaumont
Note that stop "Louis Blanc" is also present on line 7 above: the program will automatically make the connection. You just have to ensure you spell it exactly the same wherever it appears for the connection to be taken into account.
Botzaris At this stop, the line splits in a loop.
Place des Fêtes + This stop is served only when going forward, from "Botzaris" to "Pré St Gervais".
Danube - This stop is served only when going backwards, from "Pré St Gervais" to "Botzaris".
Pré St Gervais
This is the end of the line, served in both direction.
Ligne SNCF Meaux
; Color: #F3BA20
; Railway icon
; Operating: 6:00-0:30
; Frequency: 30 minutes
Another line example, with detailed trip times.
Paris Est
; About 15 minutes
; About 3 minutes
Vaires Torcy
; About 6 minutes
Lagny Thorigny
; About 6 minutes
; About 10 minutes
The exact timings cannot always be taken into account by the program: stick with round minutes in that case.
Gare de l'Est     Paris Est       4 minutes
Here is an example of a "forced" connection: "Gare de l'Est" is the name of the subway station (on line 7), while "Paris Est" is the same place but the name is for the railway station.
Note that you may specify the time required to walk from one stop to the other. If not given, it will default to 5 minutes.
Places of Interest
Musée du Louvre   Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre   5 minutes
The Louvre Museum can be reached from station "Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre" (on line 7) with a 5 minutes walk (if the walk time is not specified it will default to 5 minutes).
; Open 9.00-18.00, Mon & Wed 9.00-21.45; Closed on Tuesday
Detailed information for each POI (address, telephone number, web site, opening times...) may also be included.
Musée du Louvre   233690   4886080
The Louvre Museum is located at 2.33690 degrees of longitude (east) and 48.86080 degrees of latitude (north). Use negative values for west longitude and south latitudes.

Now what if you don't want to create a brand new file but just want to provide a fix for an error or add some data to an existing database?

First, you should be aware that our source files are heavily encoded and not as easily readable as the example above (!). Therefore, it is useless to ask for our files if you want to update a database. But don't go away, you will never need our files to improve the existing data.

For simple fixes, such as a spelling error, misplaced stops, inaccurate timings, missing connections..., you may just send us a mail describing the issue and we will take care of it.

For additions, either on lines, places of interest, coordinates..., please try to stick to the format described above. In addition, you should pay attention to the exact spellings used in the existing database you want to improve: this is the essential condition for connections to be detected correctly.


Métro  has a few limitations that you'd better be aware of before starting something "big".

  • Network size: because the program has to run efficiently on small devices, it cannot take infinite amounts of data. The actual limits depend on many factors which are not entirely measurable. However, our experience tells us that when a database contains more than 80 to 120 lines, trouble is looming.
    We intend to remove this limitation in the future, but in the meantime we have to live with that.
  • Number of POIs: the places of interest are just meant to list the most interesting places and there is a limit of about 250 of them.
  • Text size: for the same reason, the entire text for the POIs detailed information is capped at around 64k.
  • While it is possible to describe different routes for a single line, depending on the day or time (see our New York database for a good example), it is not always possible to take into account every possible variation, for example when the first or last service runs only part of a route.
    Note: if you want to describe such alternate routes, just make a separate listing for them, specifying the applicable operating time for each version.

And please keep in mind that:

  • The program does not manage timetables, there are other programs out there for this, including free ones.
  • The program has been designed for (rather) frequent transportation services. If you have to wait one hour for the next bus to come for your route, you would probably be better off with the timetables ;-)