What’s Possible with MDS?

October 20, 2020

Introducing the MDS Use Case Database

The Mobility Data Specification (MDS) helps cities interact with companies who operate dockless scooters, bicycles, mopeds and carshare in the public right-of-way. Technically speaking, it’s a series of APIs that allow cities and companies to communicate and exchange essential information – a kind of digital infrastructure. How cities use MDS depends on a variety of factors: their transportation goals, existing services and infrastructure, and the unique needs of their communities.

So, what’s possible with MDS?

We’ve put together a dynamic database of MDS use cases using Airtable to illustrate the specific ways in which cities are using MDS to create policy, enforce rules, manage hundreds of devices, and ensure the safe operation of vehicles in the public right of way.

The use cases included in the database are compiled from two years of developing MDS in partnership with our members and individual contributors. Some common use cases include:

  • Vehicle Caps: Determine total number of vehicles per operator in the right of way
    Distribution Requirements: Ensure vehicles are distributed according to equity requirements
  • Injury Investigation: Investigate injuries and collisions with other objects and cars to determine roadway accident causes
  • Restricted Area Rides: Find locations where vehicles are operating or passing through restricted areas
  • Resident Complaints: Investigate and validate complaints from residents about operations, parking, riding, speed, etc, usually reported through 311
  • Infrastructure Planning: Determine where to place new bike/scooter lanes and drop zones based on usage and demand, start and end points, and trips taken

The use case database can be filtered and viewed in a variety of different formats – like a gallery or grid – so that it’s easy to understand what cities are accomplishing with mobility data.

Each use case is tagged with the MDS API associated with it, plus the cities that are actively using or working to implement MDS for this purpose. While this database has started with OMF members, we hope to grow it over time to include the 90+ cities around the globe that are using MDS today.

If you’d like to tag your city to an existing use case, or have feedback on new use cases to include, please drop us a line.

To learn more about MDS use cases, read our information page.

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