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For Immediate Release: 06/20/2014
CONTACT: MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500

MassDOT/MBTA, City of Boston and MassTech Announce Late Night T Data Challenge

BOSTON –The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (“MassDOT”), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) have announced a four week Late Night T Data Challenge, opening up the MBTA’s late night ridership data as well as a new version of the API for the T’s real-time data.  The data will be released on a rolling basis starting on Friday, June 20th and will offer participants the first access to never before seen city and transportation data. 

MassDOT and the MBTA are using this data challenge to better understand how late night service is changing the way that people think about accessing and traveling the City of Boston.  This Late Night T Data Challenge will encourage participants to highlight the MBTA’s late night service and its impacts and contributions to Boston’s culture shift towards later hours. 

The MBTA is also releasing a new API for real-time information.  The API will allow for development of a wide variety of applications that give users all the information they need about the MBTA in one place.

“Transportation isn’t just about getting people from Point A to B,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “It’s about opening up neighborhoods, creating economic opportunity and improving quality of life. By releasing transportation data to the public we can better understand how our investments impact the greater community and how we can improve on our delivery.”

MassDOT and the MBTA are partnering with the City of Boston, which currently provides a full range of city open data available at Today the City released a new open data set in support of this initiative: all liquor license holders in Boston, including current permitted closing times, maximum capacity, and location. 

"Through our Late Night Task Force, we are working to create the kind of nightlife that visitors expect in a world-class city," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "We are continuing to engage a broad range of stakeholders, such as MassDOT and the MBTA, as well as partners in the research and tech development community, who, by using our open data, can help enhance this dialogue."

Additionally, The Late Night T Data Challenge involves collaboration from, MassTech, Uber, Microsoft, and hack/reduce.

“Open data can transform the delivery of public services and the impacts are readily apparent in transportation,” stated Pat Larkin, Director of the Innovation Institute at MassTech. “By supporting open access to public transportation data, we can create and enhance tools and services that help late-night travelers get home faster, safer, and more efficiently. This is a central mission of the Mass Big Data Initiative – to support efforts that use data to bring real improvements to the lives of Massachusetts residents.”

“Big data is emerging as a powerful tool for citizens and governments alike,” said Cathy Wissink, Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Microsoft New England. “We are pleased to take part in the Late Night T Data Challenge, to see what insights can be unlocked from this rich set of data, improving lives of people around Greater Boston.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting project, and to partner with the Commonwealth and the people of Massachusetts in exploring ways to make our city more accessible, affordable, safe, and productive,” said Meghan Verena Joyce, General Manager of Uber Boston. As citizens of Massachusetts have made clear, they value the reliability, affordability, safety, and economic opportunity that Uber provides, and they have embraced this innovative supplement to the public transit system. A healthy, option-rich transportation ecosystem - including the MBTA, Uber, and many others - is critical to ensuring that Massachusetts continues to grow and thrive for years to come. 


About the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)

In 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created to unify the state’s various transportation agencies. MassDOT now includes the Highway division, the MBTA and Mass Transit, Aeronautics, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MassDOT is committed to providing a safe and reliable transportation system to all those who travel in the Commonwealth and works to deliver excellent customer service. MassDOT has been nationally recognized for its innovative approach to transportation, including the Accelerated Bridge Program, the “Where’s My Bus and Train?” apps and “Fast 14” work. For more information, visit MassDOT at our website:, blog: , or follow MassDOT on Twitter at and Facebook at

About the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the Innovation Institute

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is an innovative public agency working to enhance economic growth, accelerate technology use and adoption, and harness the value of research by engaging in meaningful collaborations across academia, industry, and government.  From improving our health care systems and expanding high-speed internet across the state to fostering emerging industry clusters, MassTech is driving innovation and supporting a vibrant economy across the Commonwealth. 

Uber connects riders to drivers through apps, to make cities more accessible and open up more possibilities for their riders and more business for drivers.  Since being founded in 2009, Uber has launched in over 120 cities in 37 countries today.  Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.

Microsoft Corporation is a multinational computer technology corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices. Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA, its most profitable products are the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software. As of the third quarter of 2009, Microsoft was ranked as the third largest company in the world, following PetroChina and ExxonMobil.

About the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative:

In response to industry insights gained through Secretary Bialecki and MassTech’s technology roundtable series, Governor Patrick announced the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative (Mass Big Data) at MIT in May of 2012. The Massachusetts Big Data Initiative is designed to leverage and expand the Commonwealth’s position as a global leader in the rapidly growing big data sector.

Through the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative, the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative has initiated efforts aimed at expanding the region’s global leadership and fully exploiting the Mass Big Data sector’s economic potential over the next three to five years. The Massachusetts Big Data Initiative supports efforts to drive growth in the regional big data ecosystem through four strategic imperatives: raising awareness, enhancing the skilled workforce, fueling collaborative innovation, and advancing open access to public data. Additional information available at: 

About hack/reduce:

hack/reduce, Boston’s big data hacker space, is a non-profit providing the local community of students, data scientists, industry professionals, and other data enthusiasts the resources critical for making new big data discoveries. Our mission is to promote the growth and development of the technologies and skills required to process, analyze, and apply data. Working closely with our partners and the community, we bring data practitioners and domain experts across disciplines together to create the next generation of talent, technologies and applications shaping our future in a big data driven economy. A key element of Governor Patrick’s Mass Big Data Initiative, hack/reduce is supported by the Mass Tech Collaborative, along with many of Greater Boston’s venture capital and technology leaders. Visit

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