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ODS Governance

This page outlines the policies, procedures, and structures that guide the collaborative and transparent development of the transit Operational Data Standard (“ODS”). The ODS is a critical framework enabling effective dispatching and operations management through a standardized data schema. This document is intended for all members of the ODS Community, including the ODS Board of Directors, ODS Managers, ODS Contributors, and ODS Stakeholders. By clearly defining the principles, roles, and policies, we aim to facilitate the efficient, fair, and responsible advancement of the ODS Project.


The ODS Governance is designed with the following principles in mind:


  • Changes should have a clear purpose.
  • Consequences of a change should be evaluated from the perspective of different affected stakeholder groups.
  • Changes should be prioritized by the community.

Openness + Transparency

  • Discussion and decisions about changes should be publicly noticed and accessible.
  • Change-making process should be straight-forward and easy to follow.
  • Change proposals should have a reliable timeline for being decided on and incorporated.
  • Each change (or bundled set of changes) should be identified by assigning a new version number.


  • Change-making process should be simple for simple changes.
  • Complex changes should be made with careful consideration.
  • Streamlined, purpose-driven change management should be applied to maximize stakeholder efficiency .
  • Changes should be straightforward to incorporate by existing ODS Stakeholders.
  • Significant changes, especially those which are not backwards compatible with existing datasets, should be limited in number and in frequency in order to limit the number of times existing processes and tools need to be re-engineered.
  • A significant change merits a new version number.


ODS Project

The ODS Project encompasses:

ODS Governance

Who and how decisions are made about the scope and direction of the ODS Project, including but not limited to the approved roles and responsibilities and the following policies:

Operational Data Standard (ODS) Specification

The data schema documented on the ODS Repository and ODS Documentation for the purposes of representing planned transit operations for use is dispatching and operations management software.

ODS Community

The combined members of ODS Board, ODS Manager, ODS Board Coordinator, ODS Contributors and ODS Stakeholders.

ODS Contributor Agreement

Agreement contributors make when contributing to the ODS Project as documented at:

ODS Code of Conduct

Agreement for behavior within the ODS Community which must be abided by by all of ODS Board, ODS Contributors and the ODS Manager and its representatives as documented at

ODS Change Management + Versioning Policy

How content of the ODS Specification may be changed and released as an official ODS version.

ODS Documentation

The text and website (and supporting scripts) which describe the ODS Specification and its purpose and usage located on the ODS Repository.

ODS Repository

The version control repository containing the ODS Specification located at:

ODS Repository Organization

The version control organization which contains the ODS Repository.

To be migrated

The ODS Repository is currently located with the Cal-ITP GitHub organization but will be migrated as part of the process of transitioning management to MobilityData.

ODS Tools

Any scripts or code released within the ODS Repository Organization.

ODS Use License

The ODS Specification is licensed under the Apache License 2.0 (code) and Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (sample data, specification, and documentation) as defined in LICENSES file in the main repository.


Responsibility for the governance of the ODS Project is divided among the following roles as defined here and fulfilled by the following individuals as noted:

Role Who
ODS Board
ODS Board Coordinator TBD
ODS Manager MobilityData
ODS Program Manager Cristhian Hellion, MobilityData
ODS Contributors TBD
ODS Stakeholders Anyone interested in or could be directly affected by the ODS Project.

ODS Owner

The ODS Project is collectively owned and overseen by the ODS Board of Directors.

ODS Board of Directors

The ODS Board of Directors (“ODS Board”) governs and collectively owns the ODS Project.

ODS Board meetings and actions.

ODS Board Coordinator

Chosen by the ODS Board, this individual is responsible for coordinating the actions and activities of the ODS Board.

  • The Board Coordinator MUST schedule, agendize and arrange for Board meetings in consultation with the ODS Board Chair and ODS Program Manager.
  • The Board Coordinator MUST conduct votes by the ODS Boardand document results.
  • The Board Coordinator MUST communicate with the ODS Managerr / ODS Program Managerr as needed.

ODS Manager

Responsible for the daily management of the ODS Project at the direction of the ODS Board including the:

ODS Program Manager

Serves as the main contact between the ODS Board and the ODS Manager.

ODS Contributor

Individuals apply to become Contributors by acknowledging and agreeing to the ODS Contributor Agreement and ODS Code of Conduct.

  • An ODS Contributor MUST abide by the ODS Code of Conduct or face removal.
  • An ODS Contributor MAY create issues, discussions, and pull requests in the ODS Repository.
  • An ODS Contributor MAY vote in decisions on changes to the ODS spec and other aspects of ODS.

ODS Stakeholder

Anyone interested in or could be directly affected by the ODS Project. Interested parties may register for the ODS distribution list.

Document History

Initial Version

  • Initial release of the ODS Governance document.
  • Establishment of governance principles, roles, policies, and procedures.