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5th Florence Intermodal Forum

News

22.05.2019

5th Florence Intermodal Forum on the Internalisation of the External Costs of Transport

On May 20th 2019 the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation hosted its 5th Florence Intermodal Forum on the Internalisation of the External […] read more

AirTransport

Transport News

15.05.2019

Executive Seminar on Air Ticket Distribution and the Regulation 80/2009 on a Code of Conduct for Computerised Reservation Systems

On Monday, 13th May 2019, the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation together with the European Commission’s DG MOVE co-hosted an executive seminar […] read more

Urban

IGLUS Quarterly

7.05.2019

IGLUS Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 4 – Complexities of Megacity. The Case of Seoul

The twenty-first century will be the century of the Megacities. More than half of the world’s population now live in urbanized areas and this number […] read more

Network Industries

Bostoen, F. “Are online platforms the new utilities—and should they be regulated as such? Inspiration from over 100 years of telecommunications regulation”

The paper “Are online platforms the new utilities—and should they be regulated as such? Inspiration from over 100 years of telecommunications regulation” (Bostoen, F.) will be presented […] read more

Transport

Bock, B., Fechner, A.*, Klein, A., Wolf, A. “Transparency of Routing Service Platforms and Potential for Segregation and Manipulation”

The paper “Transparency of Routing Service Platforms and Potential for Segregation and Manipulation” (Bock, B., Fechner, A.*, Klein, A., Wolf, A. ) will be presented at […] read more

Network Industries

Heim, M.*, Nikolic, I.* “A FRAND Regime for Dominant Digital Platforms”

The paper “A FRAND Regime for Dominant Digital Platforms” (Heim, M.*, Nikolic, I.*) will be presented at the 8th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures (20-21 June, […] read more

Network Industries

Mathew, B. “Why now, a proposal to tax digital activities?”

The paper “Why now, a proposal to tax digital activities?” (Mathew, B.) will be presented at the 8th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures (20-21 June, 2019).  […] read more

Transport

Oliveira Cruz, C., Miranda Sarmento, J.* “Mobility-as-a-Service platforms”

The paper “Mobility-as-a-Service platforms” (Oliveira Cruz, C., Miranda Sarmento, J.*) will be presented at the 8th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures (20-21 June, 2019).  ABSTRACT Urban […] read more

Transport

Fuentes, R*., Hunt, L.C., Lopez-Ruiz, H.G., Manzano, B. “Combined Technological Disruptions in the Electricity and Transport Sectors: Regulation for Dual Platforms and Aggregated Services”

The paper “Combined Technological Disruptions in the Electricity and Transport Sectors: Regulation for Dual Platforms and Aggregated Services” (Fuentes, R*., Hunt, L.C., Lopez-Ruiz, H.G., Manzano, B.) will […] read more

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Bock, B., Fechner, A.*, Klein, A., Wolf, A. “Transparency of Routing Service Platforms and Potential for Segregation and Manipulation”

- Transport

The paper “Transparency of Routing Service Platforms and Potential for Segregation and Manipulation” (Bock, B., Fechner, A.*, Klein, A., Wolf, A. ) will be presented at the 8th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures (20-21 June, 2019).

ABSTRACT

When observing mobility and digital platforms in context of regulation, it is necessary to consider relevant regulatory aspects of digitisation and automation. As these can be fairly abstract, it can be helpful to illustrate them with understandable and common examples. Therefore, the aim is to demonstrate aspects of digitalisation such as digital segregation and manipulation of information by aggregating the results of popular and well-used routing services for information on door-to-door connections.

Users increasingly rely on information from such routing services. If repetitive routines are formed through positive user experiences, it can quickly happen that information made available is no longer questioned (Canzler 2016). This allows the potential for manipulative tweaking e.g. of travel times to influence user behaviour in a subversive way which is hard or nearly impossible to detect.

We evaluated various routing APIs with results showing significant differences in durations for public transport (PT) routings for selected European cities. Our studies show that the calculated travel times, which are played back via data interfaces for identical queries, differ systematically both between individual sub-areas and between modes of transport. Although it is not yet possible to derive any further statements on the origin of the differences, one thing has become obvious for the authors: if a routing service provider wishes to influence the choice of transport mode between, for example, motorised private transport and PT systematically and subversively, this would be possible without the public directly noticing (Bock, Klein 2018).

We have analysed three of the leading PT-routing services which we will call ‘Service B’, ‘Service G’ and ‘Service H’ in this paper. We consider one to be the benchmark (‘Service G’), as it is by far the most popular service of the three services studied here. All of the services are available globally and include real-time information on street traffic velocities and PT departure times. Traffic velocities can influence street-bound PT, such as busses, whereas delayed departures can influence trip durations, for example, when connecting services are missed. The volume of non-standardised parameters that can be passed to the API increases the complexity of the experiment and has been kept to a standard set which we considered to be comparable over the various services. Uncertainties do remain as it is unclear if PT is routed on a network representing realistic traffic volumes.

The development of the described meta-routing analysis is part of the current research project ‘xMND’ funded through the ‘mFUND Projects’ by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Anna Fechner is a consultant at civity Management Consultants. Her main areas of expertise include public transport, tariff design, market forecasts, traffic and transport projections. She is consulting public transport companies and transport associations. Through project experience in the field of transport and mobility, Anna Fechner has a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of strategic, organisational and operational interrelationships in the transport and mobility sector. In addition to her work for public transport companies, she advises automobile manufacturers on business model development for new urban mobility services. She received her Master’s degree with honours in Economics (M.Sc.) from the University of Cologne.

*  presenting author