Data is fundamental to realizing mobility as a service — providing travelers convenient means of discovering, accessing, and paying for mobility services. MobilityData improves data formats that make useful apps possible.
MobilityData builds on and accelerates existing successes with the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS, including its real-time extensions) and other mobility data formats.
GTFS governance follows a bottom-up model. The organizations producing and consuming data drive the addition of specification features. To adopt a new feature, it has to first be tested in software, ensuring that new features are practical and grounded in real use cases.
The grassroots governance model ensures buy in for new features. MobilityData sustains this model — and accelerates the process to keep pace with mobility industry needs. MobilityData provides facilitation and leadership to enhance specifications through existing technical communities, building off Rocky Mountain Institute’s GTFS Best Practices project.
MobilityData’s planned first year of work focuses exclusively on improving schedule and real-time public transit data. In future years, MobilityData aims to improve data for other functions and modes.
Planned through July 2019:
Community management: The MobilityData team is curating existing proposals to change GTFS, and field new incoming questions and proposals.
Make GTFS more clear: Resolve known issues and inconsistencies in GTFS, publish how-to guides for GTFS, and update GTFS Best Practices, adding real-time.
Add features to GTFS to describe more transit services and features [links to draft specifications are in brackets]:
Make industry practices and research on transit data easier to discover, including:
Rocky Mountain Institute, the incubator of MobilityData, is an independent nonprofit that works to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
The MobilityData team includes transportation thinkers and technical experts.
MobilityData started as a Rocky Mountain Institute project in 2016. Ever since, we have been working on GTFS Best Practices and improving mobility data, to build solid foundations for the transit data industry, by convening major stakeholders around small tables, to speak about the technical & organizational challenges, and solve them.
2018 marks a major turning point in our history as MobilityData has received sponsorship by major players of the mobility data industry, allowing it to turn a Rocky Mountain Institute project into a stand alone non-profit organization, MobilityData IO, based in Montréal, Canada.
During that year, MobilityData has led the improvement and extension of the de facto worldwide standard for public transit data, the GTFS format, by fostering conversations around on-demand services, fares, and by extending the format to describe station pathways.
Today, MobilityData is also now in charge of its equivalent in the sharing-system world, the GBFS format, as a subcontractor of NABSA. And through a partnership with TransitScreen, MobilityData has launched OpenMobilityData, a world wide repository of GTFS datasets.