In its seventh round, the German Mobility Prize (Deutscher Mobilitätspreis, DMP) announced the winner of the most prestigious award in the digital mobility sector in Germany. Covering over nine different categories, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMDV) honours innovative projects by citizens, entrepreneurs, and experts, as well as outstanding individuals who are rethinking the future of mobility. Thanks to public voting, the Transport Data Commons Initiative (TDCI) became one of the top two competitors in the International category. The final decision was made by an expert jury on 26th October 2022, with the final winners announced during the award ceremony on 27th October in Berlin.
The TDCI aims to tackle one of the main challenges facing impactful and evidence-based transport policies: the availability and accessibility of data.
In most countries around the globe, the transport sector is emitting ever-increasing GHG emissions and pollutes the air of millions of inhabitants. Yet there is currently little reliable statistical transport data in developing countries that could guide data-based decision-making. Most projects and institutions collect data for specific aims and/or sub-sectors, such as road safety, in various metrics. Information is usually published in PDFs and uploaded to various websites, or sometimes not made publicly available. The fact is that smart and sustainable transport policies cannot be reached without an open-source statistical system. Also, in Germany, governments, cities, organisations, and researchers, as well as data managers and civil society need accessible, transparent and up-to-date data to analyse current mobility and its impact on our environment. A common, shared and frequently updated database for the transport sector is not available in the public domain – yet.
Our vision is to develop a joint and open-source data platform, accessible and usable for all. The purposes can vary, from evidence-based neighbourhood improvement, to modelling greenhouse gas emissions for your country or your city, to determining which mix of modes of transport will increase air quality and impact other environmental factors. The Transport Data Commons focuses on countries with poor data systems and would create a joint benefit that none of the participating organizations, state authorities or public transport operators could achieve on their own. In the mid-term, it would save money, reduce data gaps and increase the quality of modelling, evaluation, impact assessment and reporting of climate-friendly and sustainable projects in the transport sector. If data sharing and open data approaches were to become more common, data collection would be much easier.
The TDCI started in May 2022, in the context of the ITF Forum, with 20 people representing over 17 organisations. In a second in-person meeting in Oxford, the initiative expanded, now with over 20 organisations, ranging from universities, international development organisations, Multi-Donor Banks, and consultancies. The aim to make transport data transparent and available on an open common platform is what drives the initiative.
Current partners are (in alphabetical order): ADB, CCG/FCDO, CAF, Chalmers University of Technology, EC JRC, Fabrique des Mobilités, FIA, GIZ, IEA, IFEU, IIASA, ITDP, ITF, KfW, MobiliseYourCity/AFD, Ricardo, SEI, SLOCAT, TUMI, UC Davis, UNECE, University of Oxford. We are open to including further partners, organizations and individuals.
TraCS is implemented by GIZ and funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).