Google: We don't pay MTA for data
After last week's article about Google's contract Google with New York's and Chicago's transit agencies, Google got back to me by email. I'd contacted them before running the article, but their spokesperson was on vacation. After checking with their business development manager and MTA, Google's Elaine Filadelfo confirmed for the record that Google does not pay MTA any fees under their agreement.
In addition to the specific denial about the MTA, Google Business Development Manager Tom Sly said, "I personally worked on many of our agreement with our transit partners over the last three years (including the MTA), and I am not aware of any instance of Google paying a transit agency for data."
When asked about whether Google would consider using data that was made freely available, as Arlington has proposed, Filadelfo stated that Google would prefer to work with transit agencies as partners under written agreements, but would not rule out using freely available data without an agreement.
This leaves Metro with essentially no hope of negotiating any sort of fee from Google. If the MTA wasn't able to obtain compensation for access to the largest transit ridership in the country (and it's clear that in other cases they wanted to get that compensation), then it's a really remote chance that Metro will be able to.
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