Incentives to share data

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Incentives to share data

At the moment, the idea of giving incentives to PT providers is still in a state of exploration. How to best achieve this remains an open question. Further investigation and case studies are needed to see what is the best method to do this. What is clear is that there won’t be a single mechanism to incentivise all data creators to practise open data. Nor is only the government responsible for the incentives (Higman and Pinfiel, 2015).

Rosie Higman and Stephen Pinfield (2015) "Research data management and openness: The role of data sharing in developing institutional policies and practices", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 49 Issue: 4, pp.364-381.

As the idea is still in exploration phase, recommendations for design can’t be made.

As the idea is still in exploration phase, recommendations for implementation can’t be made.

Incentives could stimulate public transport companies to share their data ( GTFS data (schedules), data of vehicles and of stop/stations…) and make their data open. Other players, like, social entrepreneurs can use this data to create better multimodal app's or websites.

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).

  • Finance and business models
  • Integration with other services
  • ITS
  • Societal involvement, new entrepreneurship

General concept
  • Attracting more customers
  • Goal-oriented/efficient organization
  • Increase customer satisfaction

  • Adaptiveness to evolving markets and customer needs
  • Better experience
  • Improve accessibility
  • Improve travelling time
  • Improving customer orientation

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Globalization
  • Innovative technologies
  • Social innovation

There is a dilemma between taking the carrot or the stick approach to getting public transport operators to share data and code. According to Pieter Colpaert (2017), “giving money/fundings is not the best way to do this. “ The best way to convince public transport providers to share their data is to make it easy and payable. That is why the EU can help them by creating a semantic interoperability framework and a good regulation/framework for data standardization.”

Punishing those with fewer resources for not sharing or sharing lower quality data is unlikely to help achieve the social justice goals of open data (Higman and Penfield, 2015).

However, as UITP, the International Association of Public Transport, says to her stakeholders that (open) data has mayor benefits and that PT sector should focus on this if it wants to compete with other market players in the highly competitive mobility sector (UITP, 2014). So, maybe the best incentives for PTO’s is to see that sharing their data has big benefits, such as:

  • Saving costs by increased operational efficiency and better service planning
  • Predictive maintenance of infrastructure: Maintenance orders can be generated automatically at the right time, relieving human intervention and avoiding unnecessary interventions or mistakes
  • Better safety and security

Improved passenger satisfaction

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