PETRA: Governance as a key success factor for big data solutions in mobility

Wijnand Veeneman*, Haiko van der Voort, Fabio Hirschhorn, Bauke Steenhuisen, Bram Klievink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


The promise of big data in the field of mobility is great, for example for mobility-as-a-service solutions. Having a better sense of the existing flows over the network would allow for much improved modelling of future flows and nudging users into behaviours targeting collectively better outcomes. Because of this promise the interest that cities have in big data for mobility is high. They are looking for ways in which a mobility data platform gathers the relevant data, allow for advanced modelling of current and future network states, and ways to drive travel behaviour. We participated in the EU funded PETRA project that built such a platform for the cities of Haifa, Rome and Venice. In this paper, we are looking for key governance mechanisms that affect the success of mobility data platforms, and how they are related to technical features. The project and an additional study into 10 cases revealed that the more ambitious a platform is on a technical level, the more governance challenges they will encounter, thus the more advanced governance arrangements are necessary. However, many governance arrangements are a given rather than a subject to design. This implies that for success, the technical ambition of the platform should be aligned with the institutions of the city in which the platforms will be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Transportation Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Big data
  • Data platforms
  • Governance-mobility
  • Institutions
  • Smart cities


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