- The New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO) last week launched a mobility data resource site that evaluates micromobility service data against city policy goals, to offer use cases and best practices in achieving safe and equitable micromobility programs.
- The site offers pages on various micromobility goals, including access to necessities; access to platforms; safety; infrastructure; environment; operations and education, among others. Each page details evaluation metrics that cities can use to assess progress toward these goals, with details sourced from vendors or cities, among other sources.
- NUMO convened more than 50 partners to create this resource site, including local governments, micromobility companies such as Bird and Lyft, and data management companies such as Populus. The partners conducted closed-door discussions for six months to draw consensuses on the "questions cities could answer with data" and the associated data requirements, said NUMO research lead Sebastian Castellanos.
The use of data and micromobility has long been a matter of contention, with some operators opposing data-sharing requirements as cities express the need for such information.
This discourse was pushed into the spotlight last year when the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) called out former JUMP operator Uber for not complying with the city's Mobility Data Specification (MDS), as mandated in their operating permits. That argument lingered into 2020, with Uber filing a federal lawsuit against LADOT in late March over its MDS requirements.
The resource site was developed to mitigate disputes like this, in which "both sides of the argument have valid points," Castellanos said. The closed-door development meetings allowed partners to truly vent and mediate arguments, leading to the conclusions and solutions detailed on the resource site, Castellanos said.
“What this tool does is really make it very, very clear of what it is that cities are requesting in this data," Castellanos said.
While Castellanos said this site is "definitely a new offering" in the micromobility space, similar resources have been built to assist cities and operators in effectively sharing and utilizing data. In May, Populus unveiled its own guide outlining mobility data use cases and methods for data sharing, in an effort to help cities "very clearly articulate" their use of micromobility data, Populus CEO and Co-Founder Regina Clewlow said.
Since launching the site, NUMO has already begun work a number of updates and improvements to ensure this resource is widely applicable across the micromobility industry. Castellanos said the group is completely open to receiving suggestions from operators, cities or associated organizations in making such improvements.
NUMO said it will continue to build resources pages, with a microsite on "market entry mechanisms" currently in the pipeline. The group hopes to launch that site in mid-September.