In this page, readers will be able to access information on the challenges related to the collection, analysis, and management of data from shared mobility applications, along with associated resources for overcoming these challenges.
Shared mobility is “the shared use of a vehicle, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle, or other travel mode; it provides users with short-term access to a travel mode on an as-needed basis”. 1 The scope of shared mobility includes micromobility services, such as bikesharing and electric scooter services, as well as carsharing, micro-transit, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), and traditional ride-hailing (taxi) services. Shared mobility services have grown rapidly within just a few years. They help solve the “last mile” problem by providing links to and from mass transit stations and can replace car trips. Shared mobility services can also substitute for walking and transit trips. Some shared mobility services can address longer trips, such as the use of micro-transit where there is insufficient demand for efficient use of fixed route transit, or car sharing services for occasional or periodic trips where a car is desirable.
When data from these providers are available, public agencies can use these data for operations, planning and analysis, and enforcement:
- Operations applications include vehicle utilization, vehicle caps, prohibited zones for operations or parking, and identifying under-served or over-served areas.
- Planning and Analysis applications use data to understand demand patterns for shared mobility, the physical infrastructure being used (e.g., for parking), routes being taken, the right price for curb space, and the relationship with transit stations.
- Enforcement activities involve monitoring and auditing provider operations to ensure that both mobility providers and their customers comply with established regulations.
There are multiple challenges for improving the sharing and use of private sector shared mobility data, including:
08-119 Research Products:
A Practical City Guide to Mobility Data Licensing is a short online article providing guidance, from a public agencies’ perspective, on drafting data sharing agreements.
Micromobility Data Policies: A Survey of City Needs is a 10-page survey of the micromobility data sharing policies from over a dozen cities.
Data Sharing Glossary and Metrics for Shared Micromobility is a 19-page document focuses on vehicle and trip level data. It provides standardized, often hierarchical, definitions of terms as well as vehicle-based and trip-based performance metrics and standardized methods for calculating these metrics.
Guidelines for Mobility Data Sharing Governance and Contracting is a short set of recommended guidelines for data sharing that consider the goals of both public agencies and mobility service providers, as well as the need to protect consumer privacy.
Privacy Guide for Cities is a 14-page guide, developed by the Open Mobility Foundation, to aid cities in developing policies and procedures for managing sensitive mobility data, particularly data collected using the Mobility Data Specification (MDS).
Mobility Data State of Practice is a set of links, maintained by the Open Mobility Foundation, to a diverse set of policy and technical resources related to handling and protection of shared mobility data.
Leveraging Data to Achieve Policy Outcomes is an interactive web-based tool for cities to evaluate micromobility services against policy goals that foster safe, sustainable, and equitable communities. It addresses equity, safety, environmental, and usage outcomes.
Two letters from the Center for Democracy and Technology, one to the Washington DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the other to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, raising privacy issues and concerns with data provided using the Mobility Data Specification (MDS).
A Practical Guide to Mobility Data Sharing and Cities is a 20-page guide identifies several use cases and the data needed for these use cases, current methods for data sharing and analysis, and data privacy challenges. The paper provides a good high-level introduction and overview of all the major topics related to the use of shared mobility data.
Civic Analytics Network Dockless Mobility Open Letter is a short letter authored by chief data officers from 13 urban municipalities laying out recommendations both on dockless mobility policies in general and data policies in particular. The guidance is specific but not comprehensive.
Brief for Justin Sanchez and Eric Alejo v. Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the City of Los Angeles
Brief for Justin Sanchez and Eric Alejo v. Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the City of Los Angeles is a legal brief challenging the legality of LADOT requiring the provision of detailed, location-specific trip data from dockless mobility providers.
Objective-Driven Data Sharing for Transit Agencies in Mobility Partnerships is a 25-page white paper intended to support the decision-making of transit agencies that are considering implementing a Mobility on Demand (MOD) or similar integration with private mobility service providers, with a focus on data exchange requirements.
Mobility Data Methodology and Analysis is a short but detailed description of the methodology followed by Minnesota to manage and analyze data collected as part of a motorized scooter pilot program. The focus is on how they protected privacy and minimized any potential use or release of sensitive information through anonymization and aggregation.
Dockless Open Data is a short technical guide from the city of Louisville, KY covering “how and why cities can convert MDS trip data to anonymized open data, while respecting rider privacy.”
Managing Mobility Data is a short guide from the National Association of City Transportation Officials and the International Municipal Lawyers Association that sets out principles and best practices for sharing, protecting, and managing mobility data.
Shared Mobility Data: A Primer for Oregon Communities is a 37-page primer on data policies and practices for shared mobility systems. While written for Oregon communities the content is applicable to any locality.
Shared Mobility Data Sharing: Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships is a 29-page report written for TransLink, the Vancouver, Canada area’s transportation authority to help the agency plan a path forward with respect to developing a data sharing policy and data sharing agreement.
Protecting Rider Privacy in Micromobility Data is a brief article describing privacy concerns with detailed trip level data and examples of how aggregated trip data that protects data can be used for operations, planning and analysis, and enforcement.
Prioritizing Privacy When Using Location in Apps is a short article that discusses five specific recommendations for preserving privacy when dealing with location data in general. The recommendations are applicable to shared mobility trip data.
Uber Movement is an initiative undertaken by Uber to publish data sets to aid cities in planning and management. The website provides access to download historical travel times, speeds, and movement data, as well as interactive visualizations, tutorials, and case studies.
Using Micro-Mobility Data to Drive Transportation Policy and Investments in Greater Boston is a short article describing the dockless bike share program run by the Boston area Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) as well as the MAPC’s approach to data sharing with Lime, the bike share service provider.
Effectively Managing Connected Mobility Marketplaces is a 23-page white paper recommending the implementation of data-driven investment and data-driven regulatory policies for mobility. Written by two authors at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
CDS-M Use Case: From Policy Needs to Use Cases is a 15-page paper that begins to describe the application data needs for the City Data Specification for Mobility (CDS-M), which is under development in the Netherlands.
Charlotte Takes E-Scooter Data for a Test Ride is a short article describing Charlotte, North Carolina’s e-scooter pilot program and how data is used to make decisions on how to move forward.
Business Regulations: Transportation Network Companies: Data Reporting by the City of Seattle regulations specifying the data collection, maintenance, and reporting requirements for taxicab associations, for-hire vehicle companies and transportation network companies (TNCs).
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulations specifying the data collection, maintenance, and reporting requirements for transportation network companies (TNCs).
LADOT Data Protection Principles by the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) policies for protecting data collected from dockless mobility service providers.
These documents include the permit application for the city of Portland, Oregon, and its administrative rules for shared electric scooters, which establishes the policies, regulations, and permit requirements.
Shared Mobility Data Sharing Specifications Policy is a document
This document lays out the data reporting requirements that must be followed by shared micromobility operators in Minneapolis’ 2021 pilot program. It lays out the requirements for operators to provide APIs for MDS and GBFS data feeds and for the operator to conduct two customer surveys using questions provided by the city.
Mobility Data Specification (MDS) is a widely used, open, standardized Application Programming Interface (API) for exchanging data between micromobility operators and public sector agencies. It has been adopted by more than 90 agencies across the world and by most major mobility providers.
The GBFS is a widely used standard for public dissemination of real-time micromobility data. It provides public, real-time, read-only data on bikeshare (and shared e-scooter) systems. It does not provide trip-level data or historical data.
Mobility Metrics is an open-source software package for ingesting Mobility Data Specification (MDS) data feeds and aggregating the data in such a way that it is useful for analysis while protecting privacy.
Open Curbs is one of several open standard for curb data, as well as an open, publicly accessible repository for curb data run by Coord.
The SharedStreets Referencing System is a non-proprietary system for describing streets and locations to allow porting of data between differing basemaps, such as a commercial GIS, a city-managed GIS, and OpenStreetMap.
The Mobility Data Collaborative is a forum, established by SAE ITC, for public and private sector participants to develop frameworks for mobility data sharing. The group is comprised of public sector agencies, mobility operators, data analysis companies, and membership organizations such as the North American Bikeshare Association and the New Urban Mobility Alliance.
NUMO is a global organization of cities, NGO’s, companies, mobility service providers and community advocates that work together to implement the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities. One focus area for NUMO is micromobility.
OMF is an open-source software foundation that creates a governance structure around open-source mobility tools, beginning with a focus on the Mobility Data Specification (MDS). By creating an open source foundation, OMF is able to offer a safe, efficient environment for stakeholders including municipalities, companies, technical, privacy, and policy experts, and the public to shape urban mobility management tools that help public agencies accomplish their mobility policy goals.
SharedStreets is a non-profit organization working on open-source software, digital infrastructure, and governance for urban transportation data.
UWTDC is a data repository for shared mobility data operated by the University of Washington. The concept is that data can be managed, protected, analyzed, and, where appropriate, shared, more efficiently and effectively by a single collaborative organization with a common set of policies and procedures.
These are public dashboards and data sets available on the internet from various public agencies, to provide a sample of the types of information and visualizations that are used.
- 1SAE International (2018). Taxonomy and Definitions of Terms Related to Shared Mobility and Enabling Technologies. https://www.sae.org/standards/content/j3163_201809/