In a bid to completely change the way San Franciscans get around their city, officials yesterday presented a vision of a remade citywide transportation system. According to the Chronicle, numerous transportation experts and city officials pitched their idea of the future of SF transit to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in the hopes of securing a $50 million grant via the agency's Smart City Challenge. Picture self-driving shuttles, networked car-share, and a drastic reduction in single-occupancy vehicles — all ideas proposed yesterday.
Tim Papandreou, the man in charge of SFMTA’s Office of Innovation, explained to Foxx just how radical the proposed changes are. “Our vision is really really bold," The Examiner reports him saying. "We’re ‘moon shotting’ it, mister secretary. We want to launch the first shared, electric, connected and automated transportation system.”
“We are the urban laboratory for the rest of the nation,” the Chron reports him as adding.
"The vision of San Francisco phasing out its reliance on single occupant vehicles by adopting a path toward Shared, Electric, Connected and Automated Vehicles (SECAV) deployment through the Smart City Challenge will be nothing short of transformational here and for cities across the world," reads the presentation. "We imagine our City having its public rights of way repurposed to spaces where people of all backgrounds and abilities will be able to enjoy, explore and experience the City whether they are a resident, commuter, a visitor or delivering goods."
All of this would be coordinated via some sort of city-created "mobility app" that linked together car share, bike share, Clipper, maps, and ride-hail.
San Francisco is not the only city applying for the grant, and the Ex reports that the winner will be selected within the next few weeks. Should SF be successful, a number of companies have pledged to chip in both money and expertise in order to make the vision a reality. The plan would be implemented in phases over the next ten years.