Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Open Data Issues

This project seeks to identify characteristics of an open data policy for transit service information related to schedule, facility, real time arrival, and situational status (such as detours, event information, and passenger load) that are practical and suitable for transit agencies to implement. Transit agencies generate and collect a wide variety of data in order to manage rolling stock, facilities, and equipment. Technology plays a critical role in facilitating performance efficiencies and optimizing service, and it provides unprecedented visibility into daily transit operations for higher levels of decision support. There is increased interest from other entities in using transit schedule and operational data to provide real-time trip-planning applications. Open data standards offer many potential benefits, such as providing access to transit service and performance information, reducing barriers to collecting and distributing service information, leveraging the costs of developing data exchange methods to support applications, and reducing the effort to collect and process actionable information for policy and decision makers. New sources of high-quality data could create commercial opportunities for new products and markets; in the past, open data has spawned multimillion dollar industries (such as Tiger files and the geospatial industry). This research will address technical requirements (standards, data systems, data feed, security, etc.) as well as institutional requirements, effectiveness, privacy, accessibility, relation to operational practices, costs to migrate, and more. The final product will serve as a guide for successful implementation of an open data policy for transit service data for both the public- and private-sector elements within the industry.