- A coalition of cities and private partners have launched the Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) to build and govern open-source technology tools that improve how cities manage modern transportation infrastructure. OMF will focus on four key areas: increasing safety, ensuring equity, improving quality of life and protecting privacy.
- The founding cities include Austin, TX; Bogota, Columbia; Chicago; Los Angeles; Louisville, KY; Miami; Minneapolis; New York; Philadelphia; Portland, OR; San Francisco; San Jose, CA; Seattle; and Washington, DC.
- OMF governs the Mobility Data Specification (MDS), a set of APIs to standardize and manage dockless micromobility programs. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) created MDS last year and its use has spread across the country and internationally.
OMF was partially funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, with support from other organizations including the NewCities Foundation. Mobility companies Bird and Spin are on board as founding commercial members.
The coalition is built on the premise that free and open software will help collaborators better solve mobility problems together. LADOT is considered a trailblazer in creating MDS to standardize mobility data sharing. Although LADOT developed MDS, the agency always intended for other cities to use it.
"It's not the 'Los Angeles data specification,' it's a tool that we've developed, a concept we developed, that needs to scale," LADOT Chief Sustainability Officer Marcel Porras told Smart Cities Dive earlier this year.
Other cities began using MDS soon after LADOT released it, reflecting cities' and transit agencies' desire to get a better handle on the emerging and quickly evolving micromobility sector. More than 50 U.S. cities and dozens of foreign cities now use MDS.
OMF will go beyond simply overseeing that data specification; it will take data analysis to the next level to create policies that promote equity, safety, privacy and quality-of-life improvements as the number and types of vehicles in the public right-of-way expands. It will also explore other open-source tools.