Quick-Response Research on Long-Term Strategic Issues. Task 31. Guidance for Trading, Sharing, and Selling Public Transit Data – Now and in the Future

The collection and use of data has increased exponentially in the general economy. Transit agencies likewise are generating more and more data as more of their systems are automated. In the past decade, the number of transit industry data sources has increased. These sources include: (1) Automatic Vehicle Location/Automatic Passenger Count data, (2) smartcard and farebox payment data, and (3) transit maintenance and systems performance data. At the same time, transit agencies are eager to obtain data from the private sector to improve planning and operations, in particular from Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft. Transportation and mobility data from multiple sectors are commercially purchased and sold. For example, anonymized GPS data from connected-car manufacturers are sold to “Data as a Service” companies (including INRIX and HERE) who in turn sell the aggregated data to entities including the Federal Highway Administration. Strava, a social fitness app, sells its users’ running, biking, and walking data to municipalities and planning organizations. The primary focus of this research is to explore how transit agencies can leverage the data they generate—for example, by trading, sharing, or selling their data—in exchange for private sector data and, potentially, revenue. The research will examine the trajectory of data exchange practices throughout the economy and determine whether transit agencies can not only catch-up but leap-frog other organizations in this dynamic arena. The objective of this research is to develop guidance for public transportation agencies to (1) better understand the potential uses and value of data generated by public transportation, now and in the future, and (2) be prepared to enter into agreements with entities to trade, share, and sell data.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $90000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-11, Task 31

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20180827
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01674390
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-11, Task 31
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 2 2018 9:03PM