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Office of Innovation

The Office of Innovation develops the agency’s forward-looking approach to emerging mobility services and technologies.

The role of the Office of Innovation is to facilitate alignment between emerging mobility and San Francisco’s goal for a safe, equitable and sustainable transportation system. The subdivision builds relationships with the private sector to address emerging mobility impacts and to explore opportunities for collaboration.

San Francisco has long been the center of innovation and the early adoption of new modes of mobility. The SFMTA’s Office of Innovation is responsible for laying the groundwork to ensure that San Francisco can appropriately respond to and prepare for new mobility services and technologies.

Since the group’s formation in 2015, it has helped develop and establish multiple pilot, permits and programs, sharing San Francisco’s experience with other cities internationally. Current initiatives being led by the Office of Innovation include:

Emerging Mobility Strategy

The Office of Innovation is developing a two-year Emerging Mobility Strategy which uses pilots, policies and research to guide how the city engages with emerging mobility services and operators.

Permit Data Harmonization

To ensure there is alignment with the SFMTA’s transportation goals, the Office of Innovation collects data from various emerging mobility companies to monitor and assess their operations on the street network. This data-driven approach allows the SFMTA to make informed decisions in its transportation planning and street design efforts.

Digital Infrastructure Coordination

Increased usage of emerging mobility services is overwhelming existing passenger loading zones, resulting in pedestrian and bicycle conflicts, as well as delays to emergency response and transit vehicles. To address these impacts, the Office of Innovation is exploring new passenger loading strategies and collaborating with emerging mobility companies to implement digital infrastructure to reinforce existing signage, curb paint and striping.

Special Events Mobility

To mitigate congestion from major city events, such as the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, the Office of Innovation is collaborating with other city agencies and emerging mobility companies to pilot a menu of coordinated mobility options for event attendees. These include Muni shuttle service, temporary passenger loading zones, temporary taxi zones and active transportation hubs.