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Overview of feed validation and reporting

After you publish your data in the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format, review your GTFS feed to be sure it is functional and accurate. This is important, not just to provide a valid GTFS feed, but to ensure that your feed provides your riders with valid data. To review proper data formatting, see the GTFS feed specification files.

When you upload a new feed version, the Transit Partner Dashboard automatically reviews the feed and generates a validation report to help users run, troubleshoot, and optimize feed operations. This report includes a summary of your feed and provides a list of validation Warnings and Errors. Troubleshoot your feed based on the content of these warnings or errors.

Validation warnings

Validation warnings are informational messages that indicate potential problems with your feed, some of which could prevent your transit data from displaying properly to Google Maps users. Review warnings to ensure that your feed data is accurate and correctly coded. Where warnings indicate problems, update and then re-validate the feed.

Validation errors

Validation errors are critical, blocking issues that prevent Google from correctly processing your feed until you fix them.

Validation review

Review warnings and errors to ensure that the data you've submitted is accurate. Where data is inaccurate, update and resubmit your feed.

The following sections describe validation warnings and errors, using title and description data used in the validation report.

Feed validation reviews the following data areas for Errors and Warnings:

  • Duplicate identifiers
  • Fares
  • Feeds
  • Frequencies
  • Missing file, reference value, or feed language
  • Routes
  • Service dates and times
  • Shapes
  • Stops and Stations
  • Time
  • Transfers
  • Trips

If you find data issues in your validation report, update and then re-upload your feed. After you have uploaded a feed that tests correctly in private preview and which has no errors or unacceptable warnings, please request a Quality Assurance (QA) review from Google.

To ensure data accuracy, you must fix validation errors before your data can be launched on Google Maps.

We strongly recommend that you fix validation warnings.

External tools are available for testing your feed. However, we recommend using the Transit Partner Dashboard feed validation report because it is more strict than the open feed validator script, and because it supports the Google GTFS extensions.

Feed issues

Review your GTFS feed to identify and address errors and warnings. The following table shows issues that can arise in your data feed.

Issue type Description Example
Fetch errors Issues that prevent Google from retrieving your feed, usually due to a data fetch setup issue. You must fix these errors before Google can create a preview feed or provide a validation report. The FTP URL you submitted is inaccurate, causing a 404 when Google tries to fetch your feed.
Validation errors

Critical, blocking issues that must be fixed in order for your feed to work.

Missing referenced value

The service_id referenced in trips.txt is not defined in calendar.txt.
Validation warnings

Potential feed problems to review so you can be sure your feed accurately describes transit routes and schedules.

Example 1

Google flags a stop that your feed indicates is located in the middle of the ocean.

Update your feed to properly locate the stop.

Example 2

Google returns a warning because a route schedule appears too tight based on the distance between stops.

Check your information and confirm it is accurate; if it is, no further action is needed on your part.

Access the validation report

Follow these steps to access the feed validation report.

  1. Access the Transit Partner Dashboard.
  2. Click Static feed.
  3. Click Validation report > Open report.

    Validation report button

  4. The Transit software displays the validation report.

Google accounts can only view validation reports our system generates after the account was granted Transit Partner Dashboard access. These accounts will not be able to access existing reports.

Validation report features

The validation report includes a navigation bar with tabs for the following report features:

  • Feed overview
  • Stops
  • Calendars
  • Queries
Feed overview

The initial overview tab of the validation report is a high-level summary that includes statistics about the feed and a listing of routes and agencies.

The overview also shows any validation errors and warnings.

Validation report overview

To ensure data accuracy, you must fix validation errors before your data can be launched on Google Maps.

We strongly recommend that you fix validation warnings.

Stops

The Stops tab of the validation report shows on a map all stops in your feed. Use this view to verify stop locations.

Validation reports stops

Calendars

The Calendars tab shows a summary of all service calendars computed for your feed. Use this view to verify that the service dates specified in your feed are correct. Pay particular attention to weekends, holidays, and other special service settings.

Validation report calendars

Queries

The Queries tab includes randomly generated Google Maps directions queries between pairs of stops in your feed. Use these queries to test and verify transit routing results when you launch the feed in preview. You can also use these queries to augment your own routing results tests.

validation report queries

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