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Policy Brief

A framework for sustainable data sharing in public transport

  • Global
  • Advocacy
  • Data
  • Sustainability
  • Urban transport policy

Guiding the sector in playing an active role in the data economy from the perspective of value creation and sustainability

Data is crucial for the digital transformation of the public transport sector. Today’s digital era is characterised by an enormous growth in consumer and industry data, triggered by rapid developments in digital solutions such as Internet of Things (IoT) and personal data-generating devices including smartphones and connected wearables.

COVID-19 has accelerated the need to review data-sharing practices because transport authorities (PTAs) and operators have been impacted by lockdowns, contact tracing and the need to make swift critical decisions. It is evident that citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries, when sharing of data enables cities with better mobility planning and solutions. A reliable and well-funded public transport system is the prerequisite for a sustainable urban mobility ecosystem and can be further elevated by maximising the value that data brings.

This Policy Brief addresses the need for the public transport sector to play an active role in the data economy through the facilitation of data sharing. ‘Data sharing’ does not necessarily equate to unconditional sharing and/or open data, but rather data sharing assessed from the perspective of sustainability and value creation. This paper provides policy makers, public transport planners and operators, mobility service providers and research institutions a framework to analyse the value and principles needed to create sustainable business models for data sharing.

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