Defining the modes of transport & mobility

As part of our standards work, we quickly realised that we needed to centralise around a common definition of the “mode” of transport. Other definitions of the “method of conveyance” that were identified during the evolution of the standard we created were either too restrictive (e.g. just covering public transit) or proprietary (and therefore not suitable for a truly open specification).

However, after consulting with another European public sector transport body, we published the following list of modes:

001 = on foot (for complete end-to-end journey mapping)
002 = cycle (includes both human-powered pedal cycle and ebike, typically rented or shared but also possibly privately owned for complete end-to-end journey mapping)
003 = moped & motorbike (shared & privately-owned self-powered vehicles, for complete end-to-end journey mapping)
004 = scooter (includes human and electric/battery powered where passenger steps in/on)
005 = segway (includes any motorised self-balancing personal platform and also electric unicycles)
006 = car (includes any vehicle where the driver is also a passenger, such as: car / van vehicle rental, car pool & car club)
007 = bus (includes any vehicle typically greater than 8 seats.. such as a mini bus)
008 = tram (includes any guided vehicle such as a streetcar and also trolleybuses that are limited by overhead power lines)
009 = metro & subway (includes any light rail transit and their interconnecting systems)
010 = train (includes intercity, Eurostar / TGV, etc.)
011 = water bus (includes river buses, typically just passenger service with multiple stops)
012 = water ferry (includes passenger only and also passenger & vehicle)
013 = air (aeroplane, helicopter, etc.)
014 = car parking (includes on-street & off-street)
015 = taxi (includes any vehicle where the driver is NOT a passenger)
Since January we have also now:

  • Deployed our list of transport & mobility modes as a sample “mode” API :
    https://open-transport.azure-api.net/mode
  • Received a Change Request to add a further 16th mode:
    016 = suspended cable car (includes any aerial cable cars, such as London “Emirates Air Line”, Barcelona Montjuïc & Port Cable Cars and New York Roosevelt Island Tramway)

    Note: This change has now been accepted and we are now in the process of updating our specification
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