Uber, the app-based transportation network and taxi service provider, has revealed a data-sharing alliance with Boston authorities, touting it a “first-of-its-kind partnership”.

The insights gleaned from Uber’s vast trove of data will assist in developing strategies for the urban sprawl- relieving traffic congestion, expanding public transportation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Mayor, Mr. Martin J. Walsh said in this regard : “In Boston, data is driving our conversations, our policy making and how we envision the future of our city. We are using data to change the way we deliver services and we welcome the opportunity to add to our resources. This will help us reach our transportation goals, improve the quality of our neighbourhoods and allow us to think smarter, finding more innovative and creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.”

Uber will provide Boston with anonymized trip-level data by ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA), i.e., data with time stamp on individual trips, distances, durations as well as support for Vision Zero and other transportation safety initiatives, explains an Uber blog post.

However, critics have found the ride-sharing app’s intentions murky, owing to incidents relating to misuse of rider data in the recent past- how this partnership works out, only time will tell.


(Image credit: Uber)

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