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Uber’s big data shows Perth’s peak hour traffic is improving

#Uber's #BigData shows #Perth's traffic. #DataScience

  • Overall, the IPA Transport Metric shows Perth’s travel network improved by a factor of +0.06 in Q2 of 2016 as compared to a base year of Q3 2015.
  • The initial report using the IPA Transport Metric, released on Monday, compares average car travel times at non-peak hours to travel times at peak hours.
  • Perth’s peak hour traffic is getting better according to new data from Uber.
  • Peak-hour traffic in Perth has improved in the past year according to a new index that collates travel information from Uber.
  • Uber’s big data shows Perth’s peak hour traffic is improving

In a first for the global ride-sharing company, Uber has shared aggregated information about the travel patterns of users to a transport lobby group – …

@gp_pulipaka: #Uber’s #BigData shows #Perth’s traffic. #DataScience

Peak-hour traffic in Perth has improved in the past year according to a new index that collates travel information from Uber.

In a first for the global “ride-sharing” company, Uber has shared aggregated information about the travel patterns of users to a transport lobby group – Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

That’s created the IPA Transport Metric, which uses an index to depict the level of congestion in major capital cities and on some common routes within those cities.

There are around 5,000 Uber drivers in Perth and the company says it could make more of its data from thousands of trips made in the city every day available to policymakers and transport planners.

“It’s something we are looking to do more of, but not something we’ve done a lot of in the past,” said Uber’s head of transportation policy and research, Andrew Salzberg.

“I think this is the first time we’ve shared this type of travel time data with a third party infrastructure focused group,” Mr Salzberg said.

The initial report using the IPA Transport Metric, released on Monday, compares average car travel times at non-peak hours to travel times at peak hours.

The report shows that peak travel times worsened in Sydney and Melbourne between mid-2015 and mid-2016, remained about the same in Brisbane and improved slightly in Perth.

“That is probably reflective of the slowdown in the economy,” Brendan Lyon, the chief executive of IPA, said of Perth’s better travel times.

Overall, the IPA Transport Metric shows Perth’s travel network improved by a factor of +0.06 in Q2 of 2016 as compared to a base year of Q3 2015. 

What that translates to in real terms is that a peak hour inbound trip from the inner metro area to the CBD has an average delay of 2.9 minutes, outer metro to the CBD incurs a 4.4 minute delay, Fremantle to the CBD 4.5 minutes and the airport to the CBD 6.6.

For outbound peak hour journeys, inner metro to CBD gets delays of 1.5 minutes, CBD to outer metro 2.6, CBD to Fremantle 7.4 and CBD to the airport incurs 4.6.

The data shows that all of these times have improved compared to the base year, and Mr Lyon said the information could be used to measure the success or otherwise of transport projects in Perth.

“It begins to make your transport planning much more sophisticated because you know what the problems are, you know what the demand patterns really are because you can track them and see them, and you know where the delays are happening across the network.”

WA government figures released last week show that commute times in Perth have improved – a positive development attributed to new freeway merging lines and revised traffic light phasing, both of which are set to expanded across the road network.

Average travel speeds have increased by nine per cent on Kwinana Freeway northbound, by 28 per cent on Stock Road, by 31 per cent on Orrong Road and by 22 per cent on Great Eastern Highway.

To help improve those figures, Uber’s General Manager in Australia and New Zealand, David Rohrsheim, said the company was open to making its travel information available to transport agencies, subject to privacy considerations and its commercial position.

“We’re working to create more liveable cities by making it easier for more people to get around without having to get behind the wheel,” Mr Rohrsheim said.

“As ridesharing has grown across Australia during the past few years, we’re excited to see how sharing high level data and trends with governments can help show how cities move over time.

“We trust the introduction of the Travel Time Index will provide some valuable insights for government and industry and contribute to the debate around important city-shaping infrastructure and planning decisions across the country.”

Uber’s big data shows Perth’s peak hour traffic is improving

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