Every week millions of Londoners use our app to get around their city – whether that’s to get to their nearest train or tube stop, home from a late night or for a journey they’d otherwise need their own car for.
With millions of GPS-tracked trips comes some fascinating data about how the city moves at different times of the day, week and year.
Until now only Uber has been able to use that information. But we’ve heard feedback from the cities we operate in that access to some of our aggregated data could help inform transport policy and future investments.
That’s why we’re today launching Uber Movement in London – a free tool which uses Uber’s anonymised data from millions of trips to help urban planners make decisions about their city.
For the first time in London, anybody will be able to compare past travel conditions across different times of day, days of the week, or months of the year. Our tool also allows people to see how journey times in different parts of the city are impacted by things like major events, road closures or infrastructure investment.
For example, our data shows the impact on travel times of moves like the closure of Tower Bridge in 2016 which could be useful when similar projects are planned. Our tool will be regularly updated with new data so that the city can examine the positive impact of future investments too, such as the opening of the new Elizabeth Line.
Under Uber’s new leadership we want to be a better partner to city planners and regulators, so we hope this data will help give them valuable insights for the future.
This is only the first step for Movement in the UK. Over the next few months we plan to launch it in other cities including Manchester and Birmingham. And we’ll keep developing the tool so it’s as useful as possible for city planners.
Uber Movement was formally launched today at an event co-hosted with London First where experts and policymakers were able to see the tool first hand and go through some real life examples of how it works.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
David Leam, London First’s Head of Infrastructure Policy, said:
“Uber Movement is an exciting new tool that will help cities like London better understand congestion and develop new solutions to tackle it. London businesses will welcome this initiative as a sign that Uber is committed to working in closer collaboration with city and transport planners to keep London moving.”
Jeni Tennison, CEO at the Open Data Institute, said:
“Transport data is an important part of our national data infrastructure. It is vital that this data infrastructure is as open as possible, while respecting privacy and commercial confidentiality. That openness unlocks innovation and creates economic and social value.
“It is great to see large companies like Uber making their data more open so that more people can use it to make better decisions. They are one of the first companies to start doing this. We look forward to other large companies following their lead on data over the coming years, and taking the next step of openly licensing the data to support broader innovation and value.”
If you’d like to learn more about how the tool works with an example of the Tower Bridge closure in 2016, please read our Medium post here.
If you’re interested in working with us on a partnership or research opportunity using Movement data, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.