The Transportation Data Collaborative (TDC) is an initiative at the UW to create a protected and linked data repository of sensitive information from public and private transportation providers. Data repositories are commonplace in health and medicine, and have proven to be successful in promoting research while protecting privacy. The TDC allows partnering agencies to create data-driven policy, support research uses, and provide individuals with authenticated access to their own transportation records. Such data requests can be met at a lower cost, with privacy protection, and with greater data security than if individual data requests were addressed on a case-by-case basis. The TDC provides:

  • Policies and protocols that address data ownership, access, use, and related privacy and ethics in the interest of partner organizations and the persons represented by the data, supported by the UW Urban Infrastructure Lab;


  • A neutral third-party host with transportation expertise – UW TRAC – to enable data sharing and analysis;


  • Engagement with UW students and faculty through the Urbanalytics Group with domain and technical expertise in data analytics in a municipal context;


  • The protection of sensitive data from public disclosure under via administrative, legal, and legislative efforts available to the UW;


  • Technical expertise in data management from the UW Datalab and UW Urbanalytics, to make large, noisy, heterogeneous, and sensitive data available for specified purposes while protecting against bias and losses of privacy and security;


  • Microsoft’s Azure Platform, which provides the security, privacy, and compute resources necessary for proper balance of access, collaboration, and protection.