Uber is giving Cincinnati a glimpse at the data so many cities covet

When it comes to ride-hailing, data is a sought-after resource for local transit agencies that want to know how Uber and Lyft’s explosive growth is affecting travel patterns, where and whether the companies are scooping up riders, and how they can benefit from first- and last-mile trips that connect users to their buses and streetcar or rail networks.

So far — aside from some mandatory data dumps and limited peeks at ride-hailing travel times through the Web platform Uber Movement — the company has closely guarded its data. That will soon change for one fast-growing Midwestern region.

On Tuesday, Uber announced the Cincinnati Mobility Lab, a three-year partnership with Cincinnati that includes expanded driver resources, a curbside traffic study, access to its data-sharing website and several other initiatives aimed at improving the commuting experience throughout the city. The deal includes a first-of-its kind analysis for local transit agencies in Cincinnati and adjacent Northern Kentucky to draw on Uber data — probably including hot spots, response times, costs of service and trends — for planning. It’s a jump start on data that so many other cities covet.

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