Adapting Our Public Process to Meet the Moment
The SFMTA has quickly adapted our in-person public process to meet the moment and ensure that San Franciscans can still provide input and participate. Through our partnership with the SFGovTV, we were able to adapt open houses, Townhall, and board meetings from a face-to-face format to an interactive, multilingual, online platform that is accessible to all.
As developments surrounding COVID-19 accelerated throughout March, the SFMTA was one of the first city entities to begin hosting public meetings remotely with our online budget town hall. Originally planned to be held in-person at City Hall, our team quickly created a multilingual video series in which our Director of Transportation took members of the public through the proposed budget. We leveraged this townhall our social media channels, included information on our webpage and streamed it on the SFGovTV webpage and cable access channel.
Once the city mandated shelter-in--place-orders were in effect with requirements of physical distancing and a prohibition on large gatherings, we went 100% virtual with our online budget conversation. Members of the public were able to provide valuable feedback and ask questions via a dial-in hotline, email, and by Twitter using #SFMTABudget. This major outreach effort allowed us to collect valuable feedback and information that was used in shaping our future budget.
In addition to our online town halls, the SFMTA adjusted Community Advisory Committee meeting to a video conferencing platform and SFMTA Board hearing to be held remotely. This SFMTA Board hearing was the first San Francisco board or commission - aside from the Board of Supervisors’ meetings, that was available for online engagement. Our team shifted from our regular in-person participation to live audio participation, where members of the public called in to provide input and comments to Board members. Testing new technologies and techniques comes with its own sets of challenges, but we made the necessary improvements so that our SFMTA Board of Directors meeting was able to proceed without a (virtual) hitch.
Upcoming Public Meetings
Visit our event calendar page for future public meetings.