October 26 marks the launch of the Asian Development Bank’s Transport DataBank, which will enable countries throughout Asia and the Pacific to formulate and implement more effective policies and strategies to improve the transport sector, undertake more targeted investment planning, and achieve more sustainable development objectives.

Spearheaded by ADB and implemented by Clean Air Asia and other partners, the initiative addresses the challenges that have hindered comparable and reliable data-gathering throughout the region and in turn have impacted on the development of adequate policy interventions.

The open-source databank, which is available free-of-charge to users and includes details not currently available in similar databases, is tailored to 40 ADB Developing Member Countries (DMCs), and is hinged on four key pillars: Urban Transport, Climate Change, Cross-border Transport and Logistics, and Road Safety and Social Sustainability.

It covers all modes of transport - road, rail, water, air, including passenger and freight, domestic and international, and urban and non-urban areas - and features data covering socio-economic indicators, transport activity, transport structure, emissions and energy, safety, infrastructure, urban transport, and the workforce.

Users can download the ADB Transport DataBank Model that has been developed to support analysis of national transport data from ADB’s DMCs. The Transport DataBank website also contains think pieces on transport workforce, data needs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and big data.

“Until now, there has been no common data framework with which to measure and assess the transport sector in Asia and the Pacific,” said Clean Air Asia Executive Director Bjarne Pedersen. “The ADB Transport DataBank is the first comprehensive online portal to provide accessible, consolidated, quality transport data for Asia and the Pacific. It also presents future transport scenarios to 2050, with a focus on travel demand, energy use, emissions and costs.”

Mr Pedersen said the databank was particularly important given the necessity to track progress on sustainable transport as part of such global processes as the 2030 SDGs, the Paris Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda.

The ADB Transport DataBank is being launched at the International Transport Energy Modeling (iTEM) Workshop from October 26-27 in Paris, France, organized by the International Transport Forum. The workshop brings together academics, researchers, and representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector who are focused on the role of energy in the world's transport system. The goal is to better understand the data and methods that are applied to the study of the transport system, its ongoing evolution, and the policy and technology options that are guiding change.