Smart Carpool Pilot
With downtown traffic becoming increasingly congested and future developments on Treasure Island and the Salesforce Transit Center on the horizon, the need for better mobility management is becoming increasingly clear. The City and County of San Francisco anticipates a growing demand for casual carpools and carpool matching apps and aims for smarter and more efficient use of our street infrastructure. Under a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the SFMTA will explore potential measures to increase carpooling on city streets. These measures could include restriping existing traffic lanes into high occupancy vehicle (HOV) carpool lanes, designating safe and convenient pickup and drop-off curb locations for casual carpools and carpool matching apps.
The Smart Carpool Pilot will explore combining innovative carpool matching services with the restriping of existing traffic lanes in the Financial District, The Embarcadero, and South of Market to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) carpool lanes and the installation of safe and convenient pickup and drop-off curb locations. The goal is to quickly and inexpensively expand regional commuter carpooling and improve public transit access to those lanes.
In partnership with the California Partners for Advanced Transportation at UC Berkeley, the SFMTA will be the lead in implementation of HOV lanes. The SFMTA will consider installing and monitoring HOV lane infrastructure, including vehicle occupancy detectors, and partnering with industry leaders to identify and implement viable HOV lanes based on aggregated user data, crowdsourcing, travel demand modeling, and simulations.
The Smart Carpool Pilot seeks to:
- Increase vehicle occupancy
- Provide safe and convenient locations for carpoolers to pickup and drop-off passengers
- Reduce conflicts with public transit, pedestrians, and cyclists
- Reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions
- Improve travel times
- Expand regional commuter carpooling
The SFMTA originally developed the Smart Carpool Pilot as part of the city’s 2016 Smart City Challenge proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Though this grant was ultimately awarded to Columbus, Ohio, San Francisco was one of seven finalists for the award and was able to pursue other opportunities to advance elements of the Smart City Challenge. From these efforts, the city received an $11 million grant from the U.S. DOT’s Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment program, to pursue the Smart Carpool Pilot and other elements of the Smart City Challenge proposal.