The National Academies

TCRP G-16 [Active]

Development of Transactional Data Specifications for Demand-Responsive Transportation

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Staff Responsibility: Dianne S. Schwager
Research Agency: DemandTrans Solutions
Principal Investigator: Roger Teal
Effective Date: 11/16/2016
Completion Date: 5/15/2018


Demand-responsive transportation includes current and emerging mobility options including, but not limited to, services that may be (1) traditional general public, human service, taxi, and private providers; (2) emerging single- and shared-use options such as bike- and vehicle-sharing, and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs); and (3) scheduled in advance and on demand. These mobility options have been growing and, for decades, communities have been pursuing their improvement. Demand-responsive services are often characterized by complex, multiparty engagement and interactions for each trip. Other industries have experienced the benefits of sharing data to improve everyday business practices. In the transit industry, the General Transit Feed Specifications (GTFS) has already shown the benefits of sharing fixed-route transit data. The lack of common specifications for transactional data for demand-responsive transportation has negatively impacted business practices and the cost, quality, and availability of these services, to the detriment of communities and customers. The development of transactional data specifications will enable the transportation industry to adapt to current technology and continue to innovate.


The objective of this research is to develop technical specifications for transactional data for entities involved in the provision of demand-responsive transportation. The technical specifications should build on the framework presented in Table 2 of TCRP Web-Only Doc 62: Standardizing Data for Mobility Management, http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_w62.pdf, but should recognize changes that have occurred since the completion of this research and emerging trends. This research should be a collaborative effort that engages stakeholders, including public, private, and nonprofit entities; software developers; and academics.
The research should:
  • Develop specifications that may evolve, at some future time, to standards for transactional data.
  • Consider privacy and security in the transmission and storage of transactional data.
  • Identify key strategies to encourage adoption of the proposed specifications.
  • Propose and carry out an approach for testing the specifications.
  • Create an open source tool for data producers to validate their data against the specifications.
  • Create and convene a forum for consensus-based refinement of the technical specifications. This forum should have the potential to continue following the completion of this research project to support implementation of the research results.
STATUS:  The research is completed and the pre-publication of the final deliverable TCRP Report 210 is available A validator software tool that verifies data messages generated by a software system is found at the following URL: http://tcrp.demandtrans.com

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