The Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) – a coalition of cities and private partners committed to using open-source technology to manage the modern transportation infrastructure – has been launched with the mission to promote safety, equity, and quality of life. The founding municipal members are: Austin, Texas; Bogotá, Colombia; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Miami, Florida; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York City Department of Transportation; New York City Taxi and Limo Commission; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, California; San Jose, California; Santa Monica, California; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C..
The coalition will focus on four primary areas:
- increasing safety – managing and measuring new transportation modes in order to ensure the safety of their residents and reach the goals of Vision Zero;
- ensuring equity – ensuring that new mobility technologies are accessible and affordable to all residents;
- improving quality of life – ensuring that transportation options do not impede sidewalks or increase roadway congestion, but instead add to the sustainability and safety of the urban environment; and,
- protecting privacy – being able to generate and analyze data through the mobility services they provide while also adhering to privacy and data security standards.
The OMF governs a free and open software platform called “Mobility Data Specification” (MDS) that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation developed to help manage dockless micro-mobility programs. MDS is a set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that create standard communications between cities and private companies to improve their operations. The APIs allow cities to collect data that can inform real-time traffic management and public policy decisions.
“Mayors across the country have made infrastructure, innovation, and inclusion our key focus. The OMF joins all of these priorities and will help cities better manage the public right-of-way for all citizens,” said Steve Benjamin, mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The OMF is founded in part by The Rockefeller Foundation; micro-mobility operators such as Bird and Spin; technology companies such as Microsoft and Blue Systems; and is supported by advisors including the International Association of Public Transport, Transportation for America, MetroLabs, and the NewCities Foundation.
“This is a momentous step for cities as they bring innovative solutions into their ever-changing mobility landscapes,” said Robert Spillar, director of the City of Austin transportation department. “This international commitment to open source technology will accelerate cities’ work in transportation planning and implementation toward improving safety, equity and quality of life in a transparent manner.”
Membership to the OMF is open, and interested cities and companies are encouraged to apply. To apply for membership or learn more about joining the Open Mobility Foundation, visit http://www.openmobilityfoundation.org.