San Francisco has long suffered with housing shortages. The reason being, is that the city has geographically very little land. Another issue the city has is – like most big cities – environmental connected with transportation.
So when CIO of SFMTA (San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency) Tim Papanderou started looking at both the issues, a potential solution arose. He explained as follows: “It’s a space issue. We have the data to prove we won’t need the space on the streets anymore. But if we do both shared and electric automated vehicles, we’re not just freeing up space in the street, we’re freeing up space in the lots.” With Panpanderou’s idea, there is now a real chance of killing two birds with one stone.
Further, the city is really supporting this. The idea was awarded a finalist spot – and a recognition of $100,000 – in the Department of Transportation’s sponsored Smart City Challenge contest – to “turn one American city into a transportation utopia.”
Meanwhile a few weeks ago, Mayor Ed Lee met with experts from UC Berkeley to try and persuade Anthony Foxx (Transportation Secretary) that their region is most suited for an infusion of $40 million to pioneer America’s 21st century smart urban transportation system.
It seems therefore that there are many initiatives right now in San Francisco being taken to make the city “smarter” when it comes to transportation.