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This is the transportation clearinghouse application, developed by Ride Connection to promote communication and sharing of resources between transportation service providers.

Development Environment

This application depends on PostgreSQL for its useful extensions: fuzzy string match, spatial types and operations, and hstore (key/value store). It uses the RGeo gem in combination with the PostGIS extensions for spatial support.

SQLite has a geospatial extension called SpatiaLite, but it does not have the fuzzy match or key/value storage extensions, so we don't use it in development.

Setting up the development environment:

  1. Prerequsites:

    • On OS X, prerequisites can be installed with Homebrew (
    • RVM (Ruby Version Manager)
    • PostgreSQL (up to 9.4 tested) and system packages, e.g.: apt-get install postgresql-9.4 postgresql-contrib-9.4
      postgresql-9.4-postgis postgresql-server-dev-9.4
  2. Install your Ruby environment:

    • rvm pkg install zlib
    • rvm install ruby-2.2.2
    • Clone project from GitHub.
    • cd into directory, rvm automatically switches to correct Ruby and gemset.
    • gem install bundler
    • bundle install
  3. Create the clearinghouse user and database template:

    $ sudo -u postgres -i $ psql

And run the following commands:

CREATE ROLE clearinghouse WITH CREATEDB LOGIN PASSWORD 'clearinghouse';

CREATE DATABASE template_clearinghouse;
UPDATE pg_database SET datistemplate = TRUE WHERE datname =

\c template_clearinghouse

-- May produce: ERROR:  language "plpgsql" already exists
-- This is ok.

-- Install PostGIS
CREATE EXTENSION postgis_topology;

-- Add these rights if you run into permissions problems with the spatial tables
GRANT ALL ON geometry_columns TO PUBLIC;
GRANT ALL ON geography_columns TO PUBLIC;
GRANT ALL ON spatial_ref_sys TO PUBLIC;
-- You may need these to avoid persmissions problems with test suites
ALTER TABLE geometry_columns OWNER TO clearinghouse;
ALTER TABLE spatial_ref_sys OWNER TO clearinghouse;

CREATE EXTENSION fuzzystrmatch;

-- Freeze rows in the database to avoid transaction ID wraparound issues

We now have a database template called template_clearinghouse that can be used to create new databases with these extensions already installed.

  1. Copy config/database.yml.example to config/database.yml and edit as needed.

  2. Create your development and test databases: rake db:setup

  3. Ensure the test suite passes. See "Testing" below.

Seeding your development database

Run rake db:seed to add some starter data. Note that this is automatically done when you run the db:setup rake task. Run rake -T db:seed to see other seeding options.

Generating ER diagram

If you'd like to see an ER diagram based on the current state of the application's models, you can run:

rake erd

You may need to install the graphviz library to generate the diagram.

which will produce a file called 'erd.pdf' in the current directory.


All tests are implemented with minitest. Run them all with:

bundle exec rake test

To run an individual minitest test:

cd <project root directory>
bundle exec rake test path/to/test_file.rb


This application uses capistrano for deployment. Check out config/deploy.rb and config/deploy/ for basic deployment recipes and configuration.

Deployment uses key-based authentication. To deploy, you'll need to add your public key on the staging/production servers so you can run commands as the "deployer" user.

To set this up, talk to another developer to get your public key on the machines. If you need to do system administration on the servers, you'll need your own user account set up as well.

On the server, copy secrets.yml from the project to: /home/deployer/rails/clearinghouse/shared/config

Edit secrets.yml and add random keys for secret_key_base and devise_secret_key in the production section ("rake secret" can be used to generate random keys). It may be necessary to install Ruby 2.2.2 and bundler on the server.

Once you have SSH access as deployer, you can deploy:

run: cap [staging|production] deploy

To migrate the database, run: run: cap [staging|production] deploy:migrate

Run cap -T for more command documentation.

Remember to push your changes to the main repository first, since the deploy process pulls from there.

Known Issues

Current known issues can be found at


A system for sharing resources between demand-response transportation service providers.




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