Mobility Data Specification (MDS) is a widely used, open, standardized Application Programming Interface (API) for exchanging data between micromobility operators and public sector agencies. It has been adopted by more than 90 agencies across the world and by most major mobility providers. The inclusion of detailed, trip-specific data has been controversial, due to privacy concerns; however, agencies can choose which portions to implement, and providers support the use of a single reporting standard across cities.
MDS 1 currently has three sets of APIs:
- Provider: Implemented by mobility providers and used by public agencies. It is how providers report historical data to these agencies
- Agency: Implemented by public agencies and used by mobility providers. It is generally accessed at the start of each vehicle trip and is how the providers send real-time updates, such as new vehicle registrations and location data
- Policy: Implemented by public agencies and used by mobility providers. Allows providers to query for information about rules and regulations affecting their operations.
Various open-source software tools have been developed to support the use of MDS.
There is a wealth of resources available to learn more about MDS:
- About MDS 2 – This webpage provides an overview of MDS, the process involved in its development and evolution, how to get involved, and the benefits it provides.
- Understanding MDS APIs 3 – A short overview of the 3 API's in MDS: the Agency API, the Provider API, and the Policy API.
- Understanding the Relationship Between GBFS and MDS 4 – A very short overview of the relationship between GBFS and MDS, with links to more detailed information and presentation material.
- Mobility Data Specification (MDS) feed, interpretation and challenges 5 – A blog post from Ride Report discussing some of the detailed challenges with MDS data.
- White Paper: 4 Ways Cities can put Mobility Data to Work 6 – A white paper from Ride Report discussing how cities can leverage data to improve their micromobility programs.
- Data from the Mobility Data Specification: Technical Considerations webinar (2 parts) 7 – A 2-part webinar from Ride Report featuring two of their engineers discussing why data is hard, their experiences with data shared by mobility providers, and what it takes to make data work.
- 1Open Mobility Foundation. (n.d.). Mobility Data Specification. Retrieved June 4, 2020, from GitHub: https://github.com/openmobilityfoundation/mobility-data-specification
- 2Open Mobility Foundation. (n.d.). About MDS. Retrieved January 29, 2021, from Open Mobility Foundation: https://www.openmobilityfoundation.org/about-mds/
- 3Open Mobility Foundation. (n.d.). Understanding MDS API's. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from github: https://github.com/openmobilityfoundation/governance/blob/main/technical/Understanding-MDS-APIs.md
- 4Open Mobility Foundation. (n.d.). Understanding the Relationship Between GBFS and MDS. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from github: https://github.com/openmobilityfoundation/governance/blob/main/technical/GBFS_and_MDS.md
- 5Mobility Data Specification (MDS) feed, interpretation and challenges, Ride Report, https://www.ridereport.com/blog/mds-feed-interpretation-challenges, accessed June 10, 2021.
- 6White Paper: 4 Ways Cities can put Mobility Data to Work, Ride Report, https://www.ridereport.com/white-paper/mobility-data-use-cases, accessed June 10, 2021.
- 7Data from the Mobility Data Specification: Technical Considerations webinar (2 parts), Ride Report, https://www.ridereport.com/webinar/mds-data and https://www.ridereport.com/webinar/mds-data-2, accessed June 10, 2021