U.S. Department of Transportation

In September 2011, in the margins of the United Nations, President Barack Obama unveiled the United States National Action Plan on Open Government. Among other things, the Plan committed to launching communities on Data.gov to “simplify access to high value data and inform innovators and the private sector about a growing array of agency prizes, challenges, and competitions.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation took the lead in building a public safety community on Data.gov, and made the effort its flagship initiative in its Open Government Plan version 2.0. 

Why This Matters To You

Launched in April 2012, Safety.Data.Gov is designed to lower the barriers surrounding access to public safety information and help researchers, non-governmental organizations, safety associations, and citizens develop innovative solutions to public safety issues.

Safety.Data.Gov is already making an impact, helping non-governmental organizations find data sets they did not know existed. These groups are partnering with civil society to apply these data sets in new and meaningful ways, studying questions like, “Where are the most vulnerable populations that need our services?” and “How can we target our information and services for maximum impact?”

Challenges and competitions featured on Safety.Data.Gov are targeted at saving peoples’ lives with information. During National Transportation Week, the community launched with several challenges, including one to build upon the U.S. Department of Transportation SaferBus mobile application, designed to help consumers find intercity bus services that have good safety records. Powered by data from Safety.Data.Gov, the innovations from this challenge can help save lives. 

How We Helped

In partnership with its DOT clients, Phase One worked to build support for the Safety.Data.Gov initiative from the DOT Safety Council, which is chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Transportation and composed of Chief Safety Officers from around DOT. Phase One developed a work plan and guided the visioning process.

While DOT was taking the lead in building the community, Phase One also helped DOT reach out to other Federal agencies with public safety missions, supporting a truly interagency, collaborative effort to identify data sets and challenges the project could address. Phase One supported stakeholder outreach efforts to key non-governmental stakeholders, including a public meeting and online dialogue.

Lastly and perhaps most significantly, Phase One developed the Safety.Data.Gov website on the Data.gov platform, providing graphics support as well as technical expertise. The Drupal based toolkit from the Data.gov team was the basis upon which Phase One was able to build the Safety.Data.Gov site.