Today (Wed, 3 June 2015)there has been a flurry of news articles about GTFS Realtime Status.
Why? Well, because yesterday in the Google Map’s Blog, Karen Grunberg the Technical Program Manager from Google Transit announced that they are adding 25+ new location for real-time transit info across six places: U.K., Netherlands, Budapest, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. She goes on to say “This real-time transit info will let you see live arrivals for buses, metros and subway systems—and even alert you to cancelled routes—so you can better navigate the intricate and unpredictable world of transit in major cities around the world.”
Here’s the link to her blog post (http://google-latlong.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/mind-gapp-for-real-time-transit.html).
Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan follows on in an article on Gizmodo (http://gizmodo.com/google-just-made-it-easier-to-see-exactly-how-late-your-1708532452) with a couple of nice screen shots showing how a 4 minute delay for bus trip would be displayed.
So in you’re not online yet, how do you get your cities real-time data online? Well, in Seattle’s case it helped that Brian Ferris, the developer of the widely used OneBusAway app, was hired by Google (http://www.geekwire.com/2015/onebusaway-creator-brings-seattles-real-time-transit-data-to-google-maps/). But for everyone else the best way is to create a GTFS real-time transit feed. GTFS is the acronym for General Transit Feed Specification, the international standard for displaying schedule and other transit information.
One final comment: It seems like forever to get to this many cities with realtime data, but in reality Google only launched their realtime transit status service in 2011, only four short years ago (http://googleblog.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/know-when-your-bus-is-late-with-live.html)
Have a great day!