Digitalized Transportation Data as Disruptive Innovation: Prospects in Mexico City

Many cities in the Global South rely on highly atomized, cartelized paratransit services that pose severe challenges for government agencies tasked with transportation regulation, oversight, and planning. Agencies’ lack of information exacerbates these political struggles. However, increasingly affordable and powerful mobile devices, along with standardized formats for codifying public transportation information, have enabled transportation agencies in developing cities to collect, compile, and release public transportation data with newfound ease. This paper uses a 2013 data collection project in Mexico City as a case study to explore conditions under which the digitalization of public transportation information may act as a disruptive innovation, creating value and altering dynamics within and between different stakeholder groups. Findings suggest that Mexico’s current, static data feed is unlikely to cause significant disruption, but that real-time data collection could increase impacts amongst stakeholder groups; this could increase the government’s regulatory capacity, expediting efforts to franchise atomized services and expand higher-capacity modes of public transportation. As city governments contemplate the costs of data collection efforts, this case study underscores the importance of information and suggests ways in which open data projects can enable reform in public transportation systems dominated by atomized paratransit services.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01555265
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 15-6008
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 30 2014 2:00PM