The Los Angeles Department of Transportation rapid proliferation of mobility services by developing a new system to manage the massive amounts of data produced by services such as bike and scooter shares and ride-hailing services. The system, Mobility Data Specification (MDS), is a data standard and API specification which enables a dialogue between mobility service providers and cities, allowing for the efficient reporting of data as well as giving the city a means of guiding the operation of service providers.

The real-time data sharing creates a low-upkeep solution for service providers to keep cities and municipalities well informed about their operation and gives local authorities a means of understanding the area’s mobility on a system level. Gaining a picture of this system level has grown increasingly complicated with the advent of these new services which add to the patterns of public and private vehicle traffic that had dominated cities for decades. Now cities around the world are struggling to come to grips with the flood of private operators eager to introduce bicycle and scooter sharing services in their cities. The often dockless service models have spurred considerable controversy in many cities over the past two years and led to blanket bans in many cities and left regulators scratching their head as they develop rules for the services.

With scooter share companies expanding as fast as they can and introducing services in new cities monthly, the MDS standard offers one solution for cities looking to develop Mobility as a Service solutions to reduce private vehicle usage.

Read more about the development of Los Angeles’s MDS
Read about the debate surrounding dockless scooters at ArsTechnica

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