A modern transit landscape requires the creation of Open Transit Data to enable improved efficiency and multimodality

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A modern transit landscape requires the creation of Open Transit Data to enable improved efficiency and multimodality

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Until now, conventional public transit has predominantly been shaped by an authority – operator – tech-vendor structure and a silo mentality when it comes to data. To develop an efficient and accessible transit, we need to establish a new, transparent and multimodal view of the entire industry.

This new perspective requires public and private stakeholders to work together for the implementation of the right incentives and viable business models that improve riders’ experience. It requires the creation of Open Transit Data to enable an efficient, multimodal transit landscape.

The urban mobility sprawl constantly changes the traffic situation 

Fixed routes that have been around for decades become less relevant as ridership decreases. New stops and terminals emerge as cities grow and new urban areas arise. New roads and bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes are built to reduce congestion. However, individual and informal transit still account for the large majority of trips made daily, driven by local demand and the need for a more flexible way of getting around.

To keep up with this constant change, public transit needs swift access to data to remain relevant. Mobility is becoming an increasingly digital playing field where data is crucial. Riders are now used to more convenient, digital solutions when it comes to individual and shared mobility. They expect the same level of convenience when using public transit. 

The new normal puts public transit authorities and operators at a significant disadvantage when it comes to understanding and taking advantage of the modern urban mobility landscape. Public transit can’t keep up with new tech companies that use data at the core of their services.

Democratize data

Not only Mobility Service providers and Transit System managers need to obtain data to quickly and easily understand and improve their operations and services. Transit data must be democratized to improve rider experience in a world with the epithet of “constant change”.

The only way to make this happen, is to enable open transit data for all stakeholders, public and private. 

When making transit data public, we eliminate the barriers to free/secure flow of mobility data; we empower mobility service providers; we improve the transit service and rider experience. Altogether we create a more equitable and sustainable mobility landscape.

Stakeholders of open transit data

There are several stakeholders in the public transit sector. These are divided into Mobility Service Providers (transit operators, private mobility companies or anyone who provides transport to citizens); Transit System Managers (transit authorities, regulators and any local government body engaged in urban mobility); Transit Technology Companies (focusing on ITS solutions, Passengers information, CAD/AVL, fare collection and mobile ticketing);  Researchers (non-government organizations and universities); The Public (that’s anyone of us using public transit). 

All stakeholders benefit from open transit data. Bus operators get access to relevant data that would allow them to make more informed business decisions, which improves their transit service reliability and avoid lock-in contracts to find the right suppliers who will support their tech needs. Mobility services providers in general, will benefit from using open data from other service providers to create multimodal transit eco-systems.

Transit system managers can aggregate data from a variety of sources and easily conduct powerful analyses of mobility systems.

Transit technology companies can easily integrate with other products using open standards and easily resolve data errors arising from integrations.

Researchers can access and process mobility data without paying for proprietary data licenses.

Riders can access reliable real-time data on the whereabouts of buses and their estimated arrival times to relevant stops and destinations to make informed mobility decisions. 

How we contribute

enrouteQ is a member of Mobility Data, driving the development of mobility data standards. Together, we work actively to improve trip planning for on-demand and fixed route services in mobility apps, thus enhancing riders’ transit experience.

When making transit data public, we eliminate the barriers to free/secure flow of mobility data; we empower mobility service providers; we improve transit service and rider experience. Altogether, we create a more equitable and sustainable mobility landscape.

We generate transit data in open standards from the start. We create GTFS Static data for terminals, stops and routes using our Android COLLECTOR app. The data is validated in the cloud, where the transit network is visualized on a map. With our Android DRIVER app or a GPS tracking device, GTFS Realtime data on the live location of vehicles is generated. Our ETA algorithms create accurate data on arrival times. Altogether, the generated data can be exported and made available to any stakeholder in the mobility space, including our eQ Transit app.

We bring a professional and dedicated team to support our users and we team up with local partners to secure every step of the journey.

About the Author

Magnus Stahlberg is the CEO of enrouteQ. He has more than 25 years of experience from the global public transport industry. In the mid 1990s, he established Arcontia, one of the world pioneer companies delivering contactless smart cards and mobile ticketing solutions. After a successful exit, he re-entered the industry in late 2018, with the ambition to once again be at the forefront of transforming public transit into a data driven space for as many bus operators and cities as possible.

Until now, conventional public transit has predominantly been shaped by an authority – operator – tech-vendor structure and a silo mentality when it comes to data. To develop an efficient and accessible transit, we need to establish a new, transparent and multimodal view of the entire industry.

This new perspective requires public and private stakeholders to work together for the implementation of the right incentives and viable business models that improve riders’ experience. It requires the creation of Open Transit Data to enable an efficient, multimodal transit landscape.

The urban mobility sprawl constantly changes the traffic situation 

Fixed routes that have been around for decades become less relevant as ridership decreases. New stops and terminals emerge as cities grow and new urban areas arise. New roads and bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes are built to reduce congestion. However, individual and informal transit still account for the large majority of trips made daily, driven by local demand and the need for a more flexible way of getting around.

To keep up with this constant change, public transit needs swift access to data to remain relevant. Mobility is becoming an increasingly digital playing field where data is crucial. Riders are now used to more convenient, digital solutions when it comes to individual and shared mobility. They expect the same level of convenience when using public transit. 

The new normal puts public transit authorities and operators at a significant disadvantage when it comes to understanding and taking advantage of the modern urban mobility landscape. Public transit can’t keep up with new tech companies that use data at the core of their services.

Democratize data

Not only Mobility Service providers and Transit System managers need to obtain data to quickly and easily understand and improve their operations and services. Transit data must be democratized to improve rider experience in a world with the epithet of “constant change”.

The only way to make this happen, is to enable open transit data for all stakeholders, public and private. 

When making transit data public, we eliminate the barriers to free/secure flow of mobility data; we empower mobility service providers; we improve the transit service and rider experience. Altogether we create a more equitable and sustainable mobility landscape.

Stakeholders of open transit data

There are several stakeholders in the public transit sector. These are divided into Mobility Service Providers (transit operators, private mobility companies or anyone who provides transport to citizens); Transit System Managers (transit authorities, regulators and any local government body engaged in urban mobility); Transit Technology Companies (focusing on ITS solutions, Passengers information, CAD/AVL, fare collection and mobile ticketing);  Researchers (non-government organizations and universities); The Public (that’s anyone of us using public transit). 

All stakeholders benefit from open transit data. Bus operators get access to relevant data that would allow them to make more informed business decisions, which improves their transit service reliability and avoid lock-in contracts to find the right suppliers who will support their tech needs. Mobility services providers in general, will benefit from using open data from other service providers to create multimodal transit eco-systems.

Transit system managers can aggregate data from a variety of sources and easily conduct powerful analyses of mobility systems.

Transit technology companies can easily integrate with other products using open standards and easily resolve data errors arising from integrations.

Researchers can access and process mobility data without paying for proprietary data licenses.

Riders can access reliable real-time data on the whereabouts of buses and their estimated arrival times to relevant stops and destinations to make informed mobility decisions. 

How we contribute

enrouteQ is a member of Mobility Data, driving the development of mobility data standards. Together, we work actively to improve trip planning for on-demand and fixed route services in mobility apps, thus enhancing riders’ transit experience.

When making transit data public, we eliminate the barriers to free/secure flow of mobility data; we empower mobility service providers; we improve transit service and rider experience. Altogether, we create a more equitable and sustainable mobility landscape.

We generate transit data in open standards from the start. We create GTFS Static data for terminals, stops and routes using our Android COLLECTOR app. The data is validated in the cloud, where the transit network is visualized on a map. With our Android DRIVER app or a GPS tracking device, GTFS Realtime data on the live location of vehicles is generated. Our ETA algorithms create accurate data on arrival times. Altogether, the generated data can be exported and made available to any stakeholder in the mobility space, including our eQ Transit app.

We bring a professional and dedicated team to support our users and we team up with local partners to secure every step of the journey.

About the Author

Magnus Stahlberg is the CEO of enrouteQ. He has more than 25 years of experience from the global public transport industry. In the mid 1990s, he established Arcontia, one of the world pioneer companies delivering contactless smart cards and mobile ticketing solutions. After a successful exit, he re-entered the industry in late 2018, with the ambition to once again be at the forefront of transforming public transit into a data driven space for as many bus operators and cities as possible.

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