Urban planners will soon be able to get their hands on the troves of traffic data Uber has accumulated via its ride sharing platform.

Uber is launching Movement, a website which offers access to anonymised data from more than 2 billion trips to help urban planners make informed decisions around city planning. Leveraging anonymous GPS information from Uber vehicles, Uber Movement shows traffic flows around cities.

Movement displays Uber data that is anonymised and aggregated into the same types of geographic zones that transportation planners use to evaluate which parts of cities need expanded infrastructure. Uber said it will invite planning agencies and researchers to access its data and explore zone-to-zone travel times, and will soon make the website freely available to the public.

Locally, the Greater Sydney Commission has access to Uber Movement to aid its efforts coordinating transport and infrastructure planning and delivery.

“The travel time data Uber has made available provides a tangible and unique measure of how our cities move at different times of the day, and gives us insights into how the road network is performing,” said Michael Comninos, executive director Greater Sydney Commission.

“Uber’s new public travel time tool, Movement, will be accessible through our Greater Sydney Dashboard and will play a valuable role in helping city, infrastructure and transport planners better understand how Sydney moves at any one time of the day.”

Movement is an extension of Uber’s partnership with Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) which was announced in October last year. The partnership aims to let governments and the broader community to monitor the impact of planning and infrastructure decisions on real journey times in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane with the launch of the IPA Transport Metric.

“We invest tens of billions every year in transport, but until now ways of measuring actual performance over a whole city has been either prohibitively expensive or practically impossible. This gives us a detailed picture of how the road network works within our four biggest cities, changing the discussion from a tally of new project needs to a better discussion about what’s needed to make the system work better,” said Brendan Lyon, IPA CEO.

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