Update your feed data

If you've set up your General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) feed for automatic updates, it will update at the specified time if your feed data has changed. We recommend setting your feed to automatically update once per day. You can also request at any time that Google immediately fetch the latest version of your feed.

Feed updates

When a feed expires or schedules change, you must upload a new feed with extended service coverage and/or updated schedules. In the case of an upcoming feed expiration, we will send you multiple notifications. Please make sure that your notifications are configured properly in the Transit Partner Dashboard so you do not miss this information.

When updating your feed data, there are a few rules you must follow in order to ensure that your feed continues to function 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 – overwrite the existing file instead.

    • Ensure that the new feed has complete data as of the posting date.

  • Coverage gaps: To guarantee a seamless transition, make sure that when you update your feed there is no gap between the service periods of the new feed and the old feed. For example, if the time period covered by the previous version of the feed ends with March 1, then the new updated version must not begin later than March 2.

    • Auto extension feeds: In some situations, Google can auto extend feeds if there are issues with new feeds. If you have a seasonal feed but would like to avoid auto extension, we recommend making your feed_end_date greater than 1 month over the service_end_date.

  • Merging feed versions: It’s no longer necessary to merge different versions of your feed to ensure seamless feed service, and we recommend that you avoid doing so.

Upload a future schedule

In order to upload a future schedule (as opposed to the currently live schedule), you must:

  • Specify feed_start_date field in feed_info.txt (feed spec).
  • Upload the feed at least a few days (2-3) in advance.

Until the feed_start_date, a previous version of the feed keeps showing on Google Maps.

Tip: Your new feed is usually live within 2-3 days. To help ensure your new schedule is live on time, upload the new schedule a week prior to the start date.
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