Uber Movement is an initiative undertaken by Uber to publish data sets to aid cities in planning and management. The website provides access to download historical travel times, speeds, and movement data, as well as interactive visualizations, tutorials, and case studies.

In 2017, Uber Technologies, the largest and best-known Transportation Network Company (TNC), began sharing limited data about their services in some cities through a program called Uber Movement 1 . It provides historical data on average travel times, speeds, and movement for rides provided by Uber. Data are geographically aggregated to preserve privacy. As of February 2021, data is available for 13 Cities in US and 38 other cities throughout the world. The data is historical and updated at most quarterly 2 . The website provides access to download the data (in CSV format), as well as interactive visualizations, tutorials, and case studies. 

Use cases described on their website include using speed data to evaluate the effects of a traffic calming project in Cincinnati, using travel time data, also in Cincinnati, to evaluate access to healthy food options, quantifying the travel times impact of a bridge closure in London, to evaluate travel time changes due to Metrorail shutdowns in Washington D.C., and examining seasonal variations and the impact of special events on travel times in Brussels, Belgium. 

In an interview with the authors of this resource guidebook 1 , Uber executives described the program as a great learning experience. They described initial reaction from the public sector as very positive and that they found the visualizations compelling. However, public agencies soon identified limitations. The data aggregation is handled by Uber, and the pre-aggregated data that is released often cannot be integrated into regional planning and forecasting models. In addition, by its nature, the data is limited to Uber vehicle movements, which represent at most 12% of vehicles. The data sets are also quite large, and the resources needed by public agencies to manage and analyze the data are significant. 

As of 2020, Uber was in the process of rethinking their next steps given the limitations and concerns cited by public agencies, and at the same time, they told us that public agencies are still sorting out what data would be most useful for Uber to provide. In addition to Uber Movement, they have been involved in several other data sharing initiatives, such as the one with SharedStreets and Washington D.C. that is described in the article listed below.

Another short article 3 from 2010 describes a data sharing project between Uber, Washington DC DOT, and SharedStreets.

  • 1 a b Uber. (n.d.). Uber Movement. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from Uber Movement: https://movement.uber.com/
  • 2Sivaram, S.-p. T. (2020, June 24). Director of Policy, Cities and Transportation at Uber, Global Head of Privacy and Security at Uber. (M. McGurrin, Interviewer)
  • 3Uber Makes Peace with Cities by Spilling Its Secrets (https://www.wired.com/story/uber-nacto-data-sharing/), Aarian Marshall, April 16, 2018.