Unlocking the power of data for sustainable mobility: DATA4PT project concludes

Read here our official press release on the conclusion of DATA4PT.

In our constantly-developing world where innovation is key and we are, more than ever, trying to build a greener future for the generations to come, public transport is at the heart of this commitment. 

And one cannot exist without the other. Our sector moves forward through innovation, constantly perfecting itself and adapting to our changing ways and world. Customers and passengers expect a service based on their needs, integrating a wide range of transport services ensuring a hassle-free journey. Multimodality is key to imagine life without a car.

With this in mind, in January 2020 UITP was proud to launch DATA4PT, together with Technical Manager ITxPT. Funded by the EU’s DG MOVE, DATA4PT wanted to smoothen multimodal passenger journeys by leveraging one innovation in particular: data.

In May 2024 the project drew to a close at the IT-TRANS Conference, hearing from partners, EU Member States and implementing bodies how the project has supported them in advancing their data practices, ensuring reliable, efficient operation and widely accessible, accurate passenger information.

When used intelligently, data is an indispensable ally to advance a multimodal travel ecosystem: setting schedules and timetables, managing vehicle fleets, issuing tickets and receipts, providing real time information on service running, and so on. At the Final Event, keynote speaker Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of UITP, emphasised the essence of data: “With a strong and fair governance structure, the key here is the power of data. Data is pivotal to a well-functioning public transport system and multimodality.”

The common language of data

Over the last four years, DATA4PT supported EU Member States in deploying a set of harmonised European public data standards, called Transmodel, NeTEx and SIRI, to simplify the integration of multimodal travel information between services, operators and even between countries. This help came in the form of technical support and guidelines, knowledge exchange events, tailored trainings, and various tools.

“Our Data Validation Tool has been one of the main outcomes of the project,” says Anastasia Founta, Technical Manager of DATA4PT. “This Tool really helped stakeholders to verify if their data is conformed with the NeTEx standard, so it can be accessed by other stakeholders. It helped in harmonising the datasets in national level and prepare the ground for interoperability in EU level.”

At the Final Event, keynote speaker Petra Söderqvist, Policy Officer at the European Commission highlighted how the 4 pillars of DATA4PT (knowledge, support, exchange and long-term sustainability) were key for the success of the project. “On an average working day, 185 million people are travelling with urban and suburban public transport services in the EU. It’s important that the right public transport data is available to them.”

By applying standardised data exchange protocols, Public Transport Operators (PTOs) and Public Transport Authorities (PTAs) can provide high quality passenger information with accurate and dynamic data. Implementing such common standards also gives the opportunity for mobility operators and authorities to fully control their data and evolve their system as they want, for example to develop their national ticketing and MaaS projects.

DATA4PT wanted to advance a common ontology (Transmodel) and common standards (NeTEx and SIRI), ensuring we speak the same language and understand each other in all EU Member States. Project results show that operators are now much more efficiently exchanging data, which smoothens passenger experience and ultimately pulls people towards public transport. Efe Usanmaz, IT & Digitalisation Manager, UITP, DATA4PT Project Coordinator

A strong community, a strong commitment

Within DATA4PT, collaboration with national implementing bodies, EU mobility stakeholders and other EU initiatives proved essential for the success of the project. The DATA4PT Team worked closely with the NAPCORE project, which coordinates the NAPs in Europe and is undertaking harmonisation activities like generating common understanding of delegated regulations.

Throughout the project, experts were also in constant contact with mobility stakeholders throughout Europe to see how the project could support them.

Thanks to the very strong DATA4PT community, the project has made it easier for providers to deploy services and meeting the ever-changing mobility demand and passenger behaviours.

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