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Launch process

Test realtime data

Now that you’ve submitted your data, it’s time to test your Realtime feed to make sure it’s ready to share with your users. First, you'll run a number of tests, both in the preview staging environment and via the Transit partner dashboard. Then the Google team will conduct a quality review of your feed prior to launch.

Your preview is not visible to the public; only users with whitelisted Google accounts are able to access and test your preview. Users who have been given access to your Transit Partner Dashboard can view your preview data on Google Maps

However, you may also need to allow others (for example, agents making field studies) to view your preview data without granting them access to modify your feeds through the Transit Partner Dashboard. Learn more about granting preview access to users who do not have partner dashboard access.

Test your preview feed

Before the Google team can approve your feed for launch, there are three types of tests you need to run to ensure the quality of your feed and your data.

  1. Data verification: Examine Realtime feed reports to identify feed issues.

  2. Test data preview: Check Google Maps to make sure your realtime info appears in the preview.

  3. Field study: Send people to verify that actual arrival times and delays correspond to arrival times and delays as listed in your realtime feed.

Data verification

The first step in testing your feed is to access the Transit partner dashboard, check your Realtime feed reports and resolve any data quality issues. This is the most important and frequently the most time-consuming step in the testing and launch process. 

  1. Open the Transit partner dashboard

  2. Press the Realtime Feeds button for the live feed you need to test

  3. Select the Realtime Feed Report for the most recent date

  4. Examine all available feed data for that date (including feed issues, feed issue overview, feed issue summary, and individual issue details)

  5. Note and fix all identified feed issues.

If you deliver your realtime transit data via the push method, you can manually upload data files for testing. Please note that this option is only available during testing. Learn about testing data using manual uploads.

Learn more about monitoring your Realtime Transit feed data quality.

Test data preview

 

Once you've addressed all feed issues, the next step is to ensure that your preview feed integrates well with Google Maps. 

To test your preview:

  1. Log in with a whitelisted Google account

  2. Visit http://maps.google.com

  3. Enter an address within your transit area

  4. In the search box, click the Directions button Directions icon

  5. Enter a second address or click a point on the map

  6. Click the Transit icon at the top of the search box

If the route you select matches update IDs in your GTFS-realtime feed, you’ll see annotations like service alerts and trip updates.

Field study
Once you’ve verified your data and confirmed that your preview feed appears on Google Maps, the last step is to ensure that your buses and trains arrive when your feed says they will. Send people to transit stops to verify that arrivals and delays reflect corresponding data shown in your Realtime feed.
 

If you find issues with your feed that you don’t know how to resolve, reach out to your Google team.

Google’s testing process

In addition to the testing that you perform, your Google team performs a thorough quality review of your Realtime feed before it goes live. This allows you to fix any launch-blocking issues and ensure the highest possible quality for your data feed. To request a review, email your Google team.

Your Google team will reach out to you once they have finished testing, and will inform you of any issues they found. You must fix all issues before the feed can go live.

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