More than 40 cities are joining forces with ride-hailing firms to use their GPS data for easing congestion. Via an open source platform developed by the World Bank, the ride-hailing companies share information about traffic speeds and patterns as well as specific incidents. In Manila, one of the first cities involved, chronic traffic costs the capital of the Philippines $1.2 million each day.
Results & Impact
Some forty cities and three ride-sharing companies, which cover 30 countries and have millions of passengers, are involved in the project. In downtown Manila, daily congestion can cost the economy more than $1.2 million a day
Philippines Department of Transportation, the World Bank, National Association of City Transport Officials (North America), World Resources Institute, OECD-International Transport Forum, Grab, Easy Taxi, le.Taxi, NDrive, Miovision, Mapzen, Korea Green Growth Trust Fund
Ride-hailing firms like Grab share the GPS tracking data from their cars on an open source platform developed by the World Bank with support from the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund. This data can then be used by city governments to analyse congestion, travel times and accidents, and make improvements as a result
Cost & Value
In downtown Manila, daily congestion can cost the economy more than $1.2 million a day
One of the main hurdles has involved shifting public sector workers away from traditional methods of data capture and onto open platform systems. Developing cities like Manila still use human monitors for collecting traffic data, which is both costly and inefficient. The World Bank has taught the public sector workers how to read and interpret the data
The Open Transport Partnership builds upon the success of an earlier, award winning pilot called Open Traffic, which was launched in Cebu in the Philippines in 2012 and won a national e-governance award in 2013. It now involves 40 major cities
As many as 40 cities and three ride sharing companies, which cover 30 countries and have millions of passengers, are seeking to join forces with the World Bank and other non-profit organisations to release GPS traffic data to drivers. The collaboration will help everyone — from resource-starved transport companies to city planners — develop better and evidence-based solutions to congestion and road safety.
The partnership has been enabled by through a World Bank program called the Open Transport Partnership, which also brings founding members such as the World Resources Institute and NDrive. One motivation is to change the way big data companies collaborate with governments. The Open Transport Partnership builds upon the success of an earlier, award winning pilot called Open Traffic, which was launched in Cebu in the Philippines in 2012 and won a national e-governance award in 2013.
“We have talked about a number of indicators for success for open traffic,” said Holly Krambeck, Senior Transport Economist at the World Bank. “If our counterparts are able to make use of the data for their investment or management decisions, that is a win for us. In Cebu, we are experimenting with the data to optimise traffic signal timing plans. In metro Manila, the transport department has been using data to collect travel time information.”
In downtown Manila, daily congestion can cost the economy more than $1.2 million a day and drivers can spend up to two hours negotiating only eight kilometres of their evening commute. Other cities in Asia like Delhi and Karachi face similar challenges. Traditional methods for collecting traffic data – using human monitors who conduct expensive and time consuming field work – are both costly and increasingly inefficient.
In the Philippines, the World Bank brought together the region’s leading ride share company Grab, with more than 500,000 drivers in six countries, and the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund, to build an open-source platform for using anonymised GPS data generated by Grab drivers. The data was used to analyse traffic congestion at peak travel times. The success of the scheme could be replicated in other countries through the Open Transport Partnership.
(Picture: Flickr/Jason Bagley)