There is now indisputable evidence from different countries showing that sharing open data has great benefits for the public transport sector, its customers and the economy as whole (UITP, 2014). First of al for the customers by improving their journey experience, saving them time through information services delivered by developers. Secondly for the transport organisations by enabling them to operate more efficiently while demonstrating openness and transparency to those who, directly or indirectly, fund them.
Only when the mindset of open data shifts from one of compliance to one of enablement PT companies will embrace the idea of publishing their data (Merritt, 2011). At this moment a lot of PTO companies already share their timetable information (static and real-time), but still a lot of other information is missing: e.g; Operations monitoring and control, locations of the stops/station, vehicle data (accessibility, capacity, on-board facilities, ...), data on transfer hubs (facilities, POI’s, opening times…), structural assets data (elevators, escalators etc
But…providing open and qualitative data is not an easy task. It is time consuming and costs a lot of effort. That is why researchers and companies aren’t always likely to adopt these practices without appropriate incentivisation. The European Union, federal and local governments can help PTO’s in many ways to make it easier and beneficial for them to share their data. e.g. by investing in a semantic interoperability framework (Colpaert, 2017).