Update data in the static feed

If your General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) feed is set up for automatic updates, it updates at the specified time when the data in your feed has some change. We recommend you set your feed to automatically update once per week. You can also request at any time that Google immediately fetches the latest version of your feed.

Feed updates

When a feed is about to expire or schedules change, you must upload a new feed in advance with extended service coverage and/or updated schedules.

When you update the data in your feed, you must follow a few rules to ensure your feed continues to work properly:

  • New feed file: To change or update your feed, replace the old google_transit.zip with a new google_transit.zip.

    • Do not change the name of the file. Instead, overwrite the existing file.

    • Ensure the new feed has complete data before the post date.

  • Coverage gaps: To guarantee a seamless transition when you update your feed, ensure there’s no gap between the service periods of the new and old feeds. For example, if the time period covered by the old feed ends on March 1, the new feed must not start after March 2.

  • Auto extension feeds: In some situations, Google can auto-extend feeds if there are issues with new feeds. Refer to the section on extending feed expiration date.

Upload a future schedule

You can upload a new schedule to replace the current schedule. To do so, you must specify the feed_start_date field in feed_info.txt (feed spec).

  • The feed_start_date is the date when the updated schedule in the feed goes live. 

    • If this date has passed, the new version goes live as soon as it’s processed.

    • For feed updates where feed_start_date is in the future, the previous version of the feed continues to show on Google Maps until the new update takes effect.

  • If the feed_start_date is set, the feed should have full coverage from that day, even if the start date is the same day you upload the new schedule. 

    • All services in the feed must have coverage that begins on the feed_start_date. 

  • If your feed_start_date is earlier than the start of valid service information as defined in the calendar.txt file, there will be a gap in coverage for that extra period.

Important: Don’t forget to update the feed_start_date in a later feed that only contains future timetables.

Google only maintains: 

  • A single version of the feed that contains current schedules
  • A single version of the same feed that contains future schedules when it’s uploaded after the most recent update of current schedules. 

Any update of the feed that contains future schedules overrides any prior update that hasn't taken effect. Providing multiple future updates may cause service gaps.

Any update of the feed that contains current schedules overrides all previously submitted updates. A future update, if applicable, may need to be resubmitted.

Important: Upload the feed at least 2-3 days before your trip. That’s when the new feed usually goes live. To help ensure your new schedule goes live on time, upload the new schedule a week prior to the start date.
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