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DATA4PT gathers EU Member States & public transport sector for first successful Stakeholder Workshop

On 5 November 2020, the DATA4PT project organised its first Stakeholder Workshop. Gathering over 70 participants including EU Member States, PTOs, PTAs and the industry, the Workshop provided a very fruitful platform for different actors in public transport to discuss how data standards Transmodel, NeTEx and SIRI – and the DATA4PT project – can improve multimodal information services across the European Union. In this wrap-up report we discuss some of the questions asked by the audience about how to adopt and implement data standards to improve services.

You can find all speakers’ presentations in the DATA4PT Library.

The Workshop was opened by Umberto Guida, Senior Director K&I at UITP, who highlighted the essential role of data in the digital transformation the public transport sector is currently undergoing. After, the stage was for Victoire Champenois from the European Commission’s Mobility and Transport Unit (DG MOVE). In her presentation, she spoke about the need for data and data standards to ensure seamless mobility in Europe, and her expectations of the DATA4PT project.

The first Panel Session discussed the challenges and opportunities for Members States, Operators and Authorities to implement data standards. Moderated by DATA4PT’s Technical Manager ITxPT, the session invited representatives from Norway (Entur), Italy (Ministry of Transport), France (Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy), Austria (AustriaTech) and Belgium (STIB), to the stage.

During the session, speakers expressed the need for a more common vision of data-sharing: it can prove difficult to gain access to data from other entities (both on national and international level) and the way data is treated and shared can vary much among different players. The DATA4PT project was mentioned as an essential initiative to advance data-sharing across the union, as it could serve as a central point to provide guidelines, trainings, tools and help from experts.

During the discussion, various questions were asked by the audience regarding other industry specifications, such as GTFS-RT and the positioning of EC. Another question arose about whether private actors can already contribute to delivering standardised data, and indeed, private actors already contribute to this via CEN standardisation bodies and working bodies.

Through the Delegated Regulation, it is clearly stated that SIRI and NeTEx are the formats to be used to feed the NAPs and enable the interoperable exchange of data across EU.

During the second Panel Session, the audience heard from experts from Aurige, HogiaGroup, 5T, OpenGeo, TrapezeGroup, and KBIC, who discussed Transmodel, NeTEx and SIRI and the National Access Points.

Experts discussed several topics, mainly explaining the different aspects to be considered for the successful standards implementation, and the way DATA4PT approaches those aspects. Some of them are the close relation and coordination with CEN, other organisations working on similar areas, and other sectors under the spectrum of multimodality. Moreover, the development of minimum EU profiles is considered as a basis for the creation of national profiles and will establish a common interpretation and usage of standards.

In this respect, it was highlighted that a standard needs a whole framework to be available for widespread use. It was emphasised that the Transmodel family of standards have a strong future potential, as they have a uniform model.

The DATA4PT project and its experts will help everyone involved in the project to overcome the technical complexity ‘ feeling’ posed by a very capable, permissive and extensive API called NeTEx, without oversimplifying it.

Finally, standards implementation is not only a technical matter, but it also consists of a cultural change, where companies, Public Administrations and final users are available to share data. EU ITS Directive 2010/40 and related Delegated Acts pave the way to this direction.

The Stakeholder Workshop was closed by Anders Selling, Secretary General of ITxPT. Alongside highlighting the collaborative nature of DATA4PT, he also emphasised the possibility for any Member State, operator or authority to request support from DATA4PT Experts Team about the implementation of data standards. Find out more here!

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