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Transportation Data: Who Gets to Use It?

Mobility companies are sitting on troves of valuable data. Sharing data with cities remains an issue, but both sides are becoming more aware of the mutual benefits.
February 7, 2019, 12pm PST | Camille Fink
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Nate Berg takes a closer look at the tension between cities and mobility companies around data sharing. This has been an ongoing issue with differing perspectives on the role and use of data. "The search is on for bits of common ground – a gridlocked urban transportation network, after all, is just as bad for a city as it is for a transportation company," says Berg.

Cities say they need the data to better understand how transportation systems operate and how to best provide services, and the wealth of private data is valuable. But transportation network companies argue that data privacy is a central concern, and some question whether cities have the capability and resources to handle the data.

Berg notes that the normalizing of data sharing has been happening on a number of fronts. Standards like the General Transit Feed SpecificationSharedStreets, and the Mobility Data Specification are helping cities and private companies share data and address privacy concerns.

"Sharing this data makes it easier for both cities and mobility companies to operate. As acceptance of this idea grows, the tension between the two should fade," notes Berg.

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Published on Thursday, January 31, 2019 in Move Forward
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