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Boston-Uber Data Partnership Falling Short of Expectations

A data-sharing partnership announced in January 2015 has so far produced underwhelming results.
June 17, 2016, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Alexander Torrenegra

Adam Vaccaro checks in with the data-sharing partnership between the city of Boston and the transportation network company Uber. So far, according to Vaccaro, the lofty ambitions of the partnership (i.e., that the "trove of ride data would give Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration unique insight into how people get around Boston) have failed to materialize.

Vaccaro reports of the findings of a public records request by, revealing emails between city officials and Uber. "The emails — as well as an interview with a senior city official — show that the city has not always been on the same page as Uber, and that it has struggled to use the data for planning purposes," writes Vaccaro.

The article includes direct quotes from email correspondences revealed through the public records request. Much of the frustration expressed from the city's point of view laments the data's lack of value to the planning process. The article quotes heavily from emails written by the city's chief information officer, Jessica Franklin-Hodge, who describes two challenges in using the data from Uber: the limitations of the data and a reluctance on the part of Uber to cooperate.

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Published on Friday, June 17, 2016 in
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