Mobility Data Sharing: A Middle Ground Approach


Austin Brown - Executive Director, UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy

Paige Pellaton – Graduate Student Researcher, UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy

Regina Clewlow – CEO and Co-founder, Populus

Mollie Pelon McArdle – Co-director, SharedStreets


August 20, 2019 , 10:00am - 11:00am PDT


Dynamic and responsive transportation systems are a core pillar of equitable and sustainable communities. Achieving such systems requires comprehensive mobility data, or data that reports the movement of individuals and vehicles. Such data enable planners and policymakers to make informed decisions and enable researchers to model the effects of various transportation solutions. However, collecting mobility data also raises concerns about privacy and proprietary interests. Oversharing and undersharing mobility data are both problematic. We argue that a middle-ground approach, in which data are shared in specific contexts and managed by a trusted third party, can capture the benefits of data sharing while minimizing risks.

In this webinar, we present findings from a recent overview of the top needs and challenges surrounding mobility data sharing. We present four policy strategies-at multiple levels of governance-to support needed data sharing while respecting the aforementioned concerns. These are:

  1. Foster voluntary agreement among mobility providers for a set of standardized data specifications. (Cities, Regions)
  2. Develop clear data-sharing requirements designed for transportation network companies (TNCs)[1] and other mobility providers. [2] (States, Regions, Cities)
  3. Establish publicly held big-data repositories, managed by third parties, to securely hold mobility data and provide structured access by states, cities, and researchers. (Federal, States)
  4. Leverage innovative land-use and transportation-planning tools. (Cities, Regions)

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