Google Maps includes a "blue bus icon" to define your Stops.
Google Maps shows transit stop icons to everyone when they are zoomed into the map, whether they are searching for transit directions or not. Clicking on one of the blue transit stops shows all transit lines that service that stop or station.
Issues with Transit Icons
Removed Stops Still Visible
The most frequent issue with Google Maps' display of Stops data is that Stops often show up long after they have been removed from the GTFS. This is caused by the difference in how Google Maps treats its Transit Layer and its Routing Layer.
Transit Layer - NO LONGER BEING UPDATED BY GOOGLE
- Updated monthly with information inherited from the Routing Layer.
- Accessed by clicking on a Stop.
- Displays the paths of the Routes and the color if provided.
- Updated weekly with information inherited from the GTFS.
- Accessed by searching for transit Trips from a set of directions.
- Displays Route Alignments and color for Routes that are needed to reach the destination.
- Only active when shapes.txt is included in the GTFS.
Since the two layers are not updated simultaneously, there can be some discrepancies between them at times, for example, if the GTFS was recently updated.
If a "blue bus icon" persists for more than one month following removal from the GTFS, it may be worthwhile making a direct request to Google Maps to remove the Stop.
Note: If the "blue bus icon" is gone but the exact name of the Stop still yields a search result, it may be because the Stop is listed as a Marker. Learn more about Markers in Google Maps.
Closest Stop Not Returned as Result for Itinerary
In some cases, Google Maps may not assign the nearest stop to a searchable location. This is often the result of an algorithm not perceiving that the Stop is walkable from the location. Common cases include: locations/pin drops inside large buildings with multiple entrances, locations/pin drops inside large campuses (such as a university) with few or infrequent paths mapped in Google Maps, and airports.
If you believe alternative walking directions should be presented to riders when searching for an itinerary, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a screenshot of the desired path of travel and a link to the exact URL of the itinerary.
Stop Icon Merging
In some cases, multiple Stops will be merged in Google Maps if it is determined that they are the same location, even for multiple agencies. This is more common at transit hubs, such as stations, but can occur anywhere two or more Stops are very close together. In the event that your Stop is combined with a Stop from another agency, and this is incorrect, email email@example.com with details about the Stop (such as its URL in Google Maps) and why it should not be combined with another and/or another agency's Stop.
Stop Icons Missing
In some cases, stop icons may not appear at all. To troubleshoot, try the following:
1. Search for the exact name of the stop as in the GTFS. If the search returns a value and it has a bus icon, see if the stop is 'hidden' beneath another icon/marker. If this is the case, riders will still get accurate directions, but may not see available services when clicking on an icon/marker in the application. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for help with this issue.
2. If the stop does not come up in search, or comes up but not as a bus icon, the stop may have been merged with another nearby stop. Search the area for other stops and see if the expected service/route is being displayed at another stop. In this case, if the stops are not a truly shared stop, email email@example.com with details about the Stop (such as its URL in Google Maps) and why it should not be combined with another and/or another agency's Stop.
3. If the stop is in the right location and displaying the right services, but does not match the GTFS' name or stop code, there may be two reasons: A) the stop is shared with another agency and their GTFS values are overriding yours - this is a design choice by the application, but depending on the agency, Trillium may be able to help. B) the stop is not shared by another agency, has been updated in the GTFS, but has not been updated on Maps - this may require a making a direct request to Google Maps to update the stop.