Since day one, Uber’s mission has been to improve city life by connecting people with safe, reliable, hassle-free rides through the use of technology. As we have grown, so has our ability to share information that can serve a greater good. By sharing data with municipal partners we can help cities become more liveable, resilient, and innovative.
Today, Boston joins Uber in a first-of-its-kind partnership to help expand the city’s capability to solve problems by leveraging data provided by Uber. The data will provide new insights to help manage urban growth, relieve traffic congestion, expand public transportation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
What Is Smart Data?
Uber is committed to sharing data, compiled in a manner that protects the privacy of riders and drivers, that can help cities target solutions for their unique challenges. This initiative presents a new standard for the future development of our cities – in communities big or small we can bridge data and policy to build sophisticated solutions for a stronger society. For this effort, we will deliver anonymized trip-level data by ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) which is the U.S. Census’ geographical representation of zip codes.
Types of resources available to cities includes comprehensive, detailed trip-level data from Uber, anonymized by ZCTA:
- Timestamp including the date & time for the beginning of a trip
- ZCTA in which trip began (pick-up)
- ZCTA in which trip ended (drop-off)
- Distance traveled during trip, in miles
- Duration of trip, in seconds
- Technical support to interpret and utilize the data
- Support for Vision Zero and other transportation safety initiatives
How Can This Data Help Cities?
To date, most cities have not had access to granular data describing the flows and trends of private traffic. The data provided by Uber will help policymakers and city planners develop a more detailed understanding of where people in the city need to go and how to improve traffic flows and congestion to get them there, with data-driven decisions about:
- Vision Zero-related passenger safety policies
- Traffic planning
- Congestion reduction
- Flow of residents across the City
- Impact of events, disasters and other activities on City transportation
- Identification of zoning changes and needs
- Creation or reduction of parking
- Facilitation of additional transportation solutions for marquee City initiatives
This data can be utilized to help cities achieve their transportation and planning goals without compromising personal privacy. By helping cities understand the way their residents move, we can work together to make our communities stronger. Smart Cities can benefit from smart data and we will champion municipal efforts devoted to achieving data-driven urban growth, mobility and safety for communities.