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Putting USDOT Open Data to Work in the White House Opportunity Project

Putting USDOT Open Data to Work in the White House Opportunity Project

At USDOT, we believe that transportation plays a critical role in connecting Americans to economic opportunity. We know that to do that job well, we need to identify where barriers to opportunity exist – and that requires data. 

Today, we were excited to participate in The Opportunity Project, a White House initiative to spur the creation of digital tools that use Federal open data to help individuals and families navigate information on access to resources like housing, schools, jobs, and transportation.

Picture of Opportunity Project presentation

At the White House Opportunity Project, Create.io CTO Laura Ferguson presents on a new tool to analyze USDOT crash data. 

Since I joined Secretary Foxx’s team as the Department’s first Chief Data Officer, my office has been focused on finding new ways to open and share data to help spur innovation, improve safety, and promote access to opportunity.  

USDOT has been able to open up data in great new ways. For example, earlier this year, we worked with the private sector on a hackathon to tackle the ‘last mile’ of transportation in America’s cities. 

The winner of our Smart City Challenge, Columbus, Ohio, is using data to decrease infant mortality in an underserved community by using transportation data to help mothers access prenatal care.

And just last month, we launched the National Transit Map project to improve understanding of where gaps in access exist.

Today, 29 tech teams gathered at the White House to unveil their latest projects.

By connecting developers with Federal open data experts, The Opportunity Project lets open data be incorporated into actionable tools that Americans like you can use to improve their lives.

Since we know that safety risks create unique barriers to opportunity in many communities, we were encouraged to see several teams respond to our recent Call to Action on roadway fatalities by incorporating and analyzing 2015 road fatality data. 

Several of those teams created tools focused on transportation safety and access, including Create.io, MySidewalk, Neighborland, and Split. 

Teams heard from senior Administration officials, including Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz and U.S. Chief Data Scientist D.J. Patil, who described their visions for how we can leverage open data and new technologies to create more equitable communities.  

They also had the chance to share their tools with the other teams, Federal agencies, and subject matter experts in attendance. 

The Opportunity Project is a great example of the value of opening data to the creativity of the private sector and the American public.

This initiative shows how data can help tell the story of community connections, and we look forward to continued collaborations to promote safety and opportunity for all. 

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