The National Academies

TCRP J-11/Task 31 [Active]

Guidance for Trading, Sharing, and Selling Public Transit Data – Now and in the Future

  Project Data
Funds: $90,000
Staff Responsibility: Dianne S. Schwager
Research Agency: Economic Development Research Group
Principal Investigator: Cecilia Viggiano
Effective Date: 11/1/2018
Completion Date: 7/7/2019



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.


 The primary focus of the 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. 


The interim report has been completed and reviewed by the project panel.  Here is a copy of the Interim Report and a copy of a PowerPoint presentation on the report. This is an uncorrected draft as submitted by the contractor. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied herein are those of the contractor. They are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the Academies, or the program sponsors.

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