Mobility Data Specification: A Data Standard for Shared Mobility Providers, Los Angeles, California, 2018
5 minutes Date Enacted: May 16, 2018 Dates given are approximate.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LA DOT) developed the Mobility Data Specification (MDS) to manage shared mobility providers, such as scooters and dockless bikes. LA DOT plans to expand it to include other shared modes, such carsharing and ridesourcing. The open specification is hosted in a public Github repository and is available for use and modification by any party interested in contributing to the standard’s evolution.
This specification creates the syntax for a two-way communication via an application programming interface (API) between service providers and the jurisdictions they operate in. An active feed allows the data to travel between smartphones and GPS-enabled vehicles, and the LA DOT. Because they contain potentially sensitive information (e.g. GPS traces, which could reveal individuals’ movements) the MDS feeds are not intended to be open to the public (unlike related specifications which expressly are for public consumption, such as the General Bikeshare Feed Specification, or GBFS). MDS is intended to be consumed by cities, or their designated agents/data aggregators. The feed is also enabled to archives information for planning purposes. The MDS currently comprises two distinct components:
The provider API is to be implemented by mobility as a service providers, for data exchange and operational information that a municipality will query.
The agency API is to be implemented by municipalities and other regulatory agencies, for providers to query and integrate with during operations.
The providers must provide real-time information about how many of their vehicles are in use at any given time, where vehicles are at all times, and the physical condition that vehicles are in. Additional information includes:
Percent Battery Charge
Trip Start and End Data (time and location)
The specification’s GitHub repository includes the license, readme, and other directions.