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Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), announced the publication of comprehensive data on Transportation Network Providers like Uber, Lyft and Via on the City’s open data portal. Building on the City’s status as a leader in open and transparent data-sharing, the public datasets display information regarding drivers, vehicles and trips on ride-hailing apps, deidentified to maintain driver and rider privacy. This step, which is vital to ensuring the City continues to adapt to new mobility, makes Chicago the first city in the nation to publish such detailed, standalone ride-hailing data.
“Making comprehensive and secure data available to the public is a fundamental element of good governance and a pinnacle of this administration,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “With this information, we will better understand our transportation landscape and be prepared to solve future mobility problems.”
Mayor Emanuel recently released a Report outlining the recommendations of the New Transportation and Mobility Task Force. This report serves as a guidepost for the future of mobility, preparing a vision of Chicago’s multi-modal transportation system that is reliable, equitable, fair, and environmentally-sustainable. One of the primary recommendations made by the 20-member Task Force is the development of a uniform, comprehensive, and secure data sharing between public and private entities.
The publication of these data sets, which will be updated quarterly as the ride-hailing companies share data with the City, represents early progress towards the Report’s recommendations and is a landmark accomplishment as the City moves towards data uniformity and transparency. Included in the publication are three informative sets of ride-hailing data:
The data is deidentified to protect the privacy of companies, and drivers. Driver names are not included, trip times are rounded to the nearest 15 minutes, fares and tips are rounded to the nearest $2.50 and $1.00 respectively and locations are aggregated by census tract. Additionally, further aggregation methods are undertaken to expand geographies that had fewer than 3 trips in a given time period. A full explanation of anonymization methods can be found here.
"This release of this data is consistent with the City's ongoing commitment to make data openly available to support transparency, research, and planning,” said Danielle DuMerer, DoIT Commissioner and Chief Information Officer of the City of Chicago. “As with any data release, the City conducts a privacy review and has masked certain data elements."
This information is published in a similar format to taxicab data, achieving the recommendation of the Task Force to develop uniform data sharing requirements. TNP drivers come from all 50 wards, and trips take place throughout Chicago. The number of trips in underserved community areas has doubled since 2015. We encourage City partners, academic researchers, and curious residents to explore the data to better understand the impact of ride-hailing services in Chicago.
“Public data is very important in the transportation realm, but so is privacy,” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. “We work closely with industries that operate in Chicago and use the information make policy, improve operations and to ensure compliance with City requirements.”
Other recommendations of the Task Force include: increasing funding for transportation by raising the state’s motor fuel tax and developing reliable alternative long-term funding streams; establishing a Chief Mobility Officer; incentivizing business to provide public transit benefits to employees; launching a pilot to study the impacts of autonomous vehicles; ensuring micro-mobility services and new mobility options are accessible for all and do not impede sidewalks; a scooter-sharing pilot in 2019.
“The availability of TNP data on the City’s Open Data Portal is vital to our ability to be innovative around the future of mobility,” said Brenna Berman, Executive Director of City Tech. “This data will inform our work to develop focused, collaborative, cross-sector pilots that further the recommendations made by the City’s Task Force.”
Ride-hailing companies are licensed through BACP’s Public Vehicles Division as Transportation Network Providers (TNPs). At this time, there are three licensed TNPs in Chicago- Uber, Lyft, and Via. Vehicles must complete annual inspections and drivers must undergo a uniform background check prior to onboarding.