Open transport data is one of the European Data Portal’s (EDP) most frequently re-used data domains and is one of the five thematic data domains that the European Commission (EC) has identified as highly impactful. These five thematic data domains are datasets that the EC expects to have the highest demand from re-users across the European Union. They include geospatial data, earth observation data and environment, transport data, statistics and company (or corporate) data. This article will focus on open transport data.
Impact of open transport data
The EDP offers overs 7,600 datasets related to transport. For example from Switzerland about bike sharing and bicycle hiring systems throughout the country or from Italy showing the location of bicycle sharing stations that have been installed and are planned in the municipality of Matera, Italy. In addition, the portal also provides, for example, access to datasets representing road work in Belgium, the winter traffic conditions for cars in France or datasets about road construction in Sweden.
These datasets are accessible via the EDP which is harvesting metadata from national open data portals. The national open data portals publish the data or harvest the data from different institutions within their countries, such as federal, regional and local portals; national, regional and local government bodies or research institutions.
Open data use cases of open transport data
The EDP has ninety examples of open data use cases that use open transport data. For example, the platform Saemes and the application Moovit.
Saemes is a French platform that provides users with real-time parking information in Paris. The service enables users to find available parking and provides the best route to that location. In selected parking areas, Saemes allows users to reserve a parking space to save time searching for available spots. The platform collects data from different local authorities and institutions about the different parking garages and car parks in the city of Paris.
Moovit is an application that allows users to view public transportation options, such as bus arrival times, maps and train schedules around the world. The company originated in Israel and is an early pioneer of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and aims to simplify urban mobility by making transportation more efficient, accessible and sustainable. Moovit collects data from different modes of transport from countries around the world including Europe. This data includes bus and train time schedules, stops, and stations. The company collects up to four billion anonymous data points every day that is then analysed to show users the best travel options on Moovit’s application and website.
For more examples, look at the European Data Portal’s datasets and use cases from different European countries that exemplify the value of open data and aim to address the current and future challenges in transportation.