On the 2nd of February, the Data4PT consortium held the first of two plenary meetings for 2021. It was an opportunity for ITxPT, UITP, and the member states to present their project progress to the other consortium members. The project is now well underway, and the activity increases within the experts’ team and the member states. In most cases, the member states have launched National Access Point pilots and, in one case, even a National Access Point in full production.
What is Data4PT?
The Data4PT project aims to advance data-sharing practices in the public transport sector by implementing European standards and data exchange models. The aim is to fulfill the current and future needs of multimodal travel information services within the EU. Read more about Data4PT here.
One of the member state representatives during the meeting expressed that Data4PT for them is a flagship project for Multimodal cooperation that they expect will open for international collaborations.
An essential aspect of the Data4PT project is to raise awareness and spread knowledge. Several dissemination activities are going on. ITxPT and UITP are developing a collaboration tool and a knowledge database on the Data4PT website, harmonizing the website with the Transmodel website and the SIRI website currently under construction.
The knowledge database, continuously updated with guidelines, FAQ, training material, and other information, is available on the Data4PT website.
The consortium will hold two major conferences per year and monthly or weekly one-hour consortium update meetings, focusing on specific current topics. Data4PT will also have a yearly stakeholder workshop and participate at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg in October and the UITP Public Transport Summit in Melbourne in December.
Newsletter and social media
Anyone not directly involved in the project can follow it on Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to the newsletter on the Data4PT website. There is also a downloadable leaflet available on the website.
The technical dimension
ITxPT, as the implementation body, and the experts’ team support the member states in implementing the National Access Points and contribute to the definition of rules for the national profiles that each member state will set up. The national profiles define what information – and in what form – should be available through the National Access Points. The national profiles must be at least as comprehensive as the EU profile. ITxPT also took the opportunity at the meeting to encourage the member states to ask for support. Furthermore, EU member states outside the consortium can reach out to ITxPT to get help. There is also a list of tools for different purposes available on the Data4PT wiki page.
Member states activities
The member states attending the meeting had the opportunity to present their progress in implementing National Access Points stakeholders involved and challenges. They expressed the importance of having conferences and workshops with stakeholders. The sessions are essential for PTO and local PTA to get information about standards like NeTEx, SIRI, and TRANSMODEL. Other stakeholders involved on a national level are universities, standardization bodies, private industry actors, and research institutes. Data4PT will provide training material for the national organizations to use. Some of the member states will translate the material to their language.
The member states face improving the quality of analysis tools and validators, making their platforms more reliable, elaborate use cases, and establishing an automated way to transform data to NeTEx. It is also a challenge to find a way to help smaller PTO with limited technical resources and know-how to supply data in the right format.
The progress status differs between the consortium member states. From collecting information before implementing pilot-phase National Access Points to having already implemented National Access Points in production.
The next required activity for the Data4PT consortium member states is to send data packages for Data4PT to use for testing compliance and evaluating tools.
Data4PT has ongoing liaisons with several different organizations, like CEN, DATEX, ISO, Shift2Rail, and MobilityData (GTFS). There are some activities currently going on, like submitted change requests for SIRI and TRANSMODEL and an upcoming request for CEN documentation.