Uber will provide cities with ridership data

Uber has agreed to share ridership data with cities, in a gambit that could assuage some concerns about the company’s operations in various municipalities.

The ride-hailing service intends to share with city officials and urban planners the vast and growing global data statistics it has about ridership within cities.

“Every hour of every day, people use Uber to get around the more than 450 cities we serve,” Uber said in a post on its site about the program, which is called Uber Movement.

That constant movement of riders is creating a mother lode of data that Uber can mine.

“We’ve been working hard to get to know these cities, with the goal of making them cleaner, more efficient and less crowded,” the tech firm said in its post.

The company said it’s well aware that city officials are anxious to harvest more knowledge about traffic in their jurisdictions.

In fact, Uber was reportedly sparring with New York City over rider data just last week, the Washington Post reported.

But in its blog post Sunday, the company sounded helpful: “We’ve found that local leaders, urban planners, and civic communities are all working to crack their city’s commute and figure out how best to invest in new infrastructure.”

San Francisco-based Uber noted that it’s in good position to provide city leaders with valuable information about rider movements because its services are in constant operation.

“By analyzing a lot of trips over time, we can reliably estimate how long it takes to get from one area to another,” the company stated in the post. “We can compare travel conditions across different times of day, days of the week, or months of the year. We can analyze how travel times are impacted by big events, road closures or other things happening in a city.”

Uber intends to provide city planners and urban researchers with the data, and eventually will make it available to the public.

“City planners face a myriad of challenges, and we hope to help tackle more of them over time,” Uber stated. “We’re excited to partner with city officials, urban planners and research organizations to continue building features that today’s transportation planners need.”


Above: Screen shot from Uber.


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