UC Berkeley to work with San Francisco to relieve traffic congestion

October 13, 2016
By: Robert Sanders

The U.S. Department of Transportation today awarded the City of San Francisco and its partner UC Berkeley $11 million to fund six innovative projects aimed at reducing traffic congestion and creating a safer and more efficient transportation system.

SF Traffic
Freeway traffic congestion in San Francisco.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the award at The White House Frontiers Conference hosted by President Barack Obama to explore the future of innovation.

“Moving people and goods safely and efficiently throughout our city and region is a top priority for me,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “With this funding, San Francisco can move forward with a number of pioneering projects across the city that will utilize advanced transportation technology to address traffic congestion on our streets and allow for a smarter and more equitable transportation system for all San Franciscans.”

The six transportation initiatives funded by the grant will be implemented and operated by the Municipal Transportation Agency in partnership with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and UC Berkeley with the support of San Francisco’s newly created smart city incubator, Superpublic.

“We are delighted to be partners with the city of San Francisco, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency and the County Transportation Authority on this exciting grant, which will enable us to build upon the foundation we created in responding to the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge earlier this year,” said Susan Shaheen, who will lead UC Berkeley’s research contributions to the projects. “Our approach is focused on improving mobility for all travelers, increasing safety and reducing congestion in the city and region.”

Shaheen, a pioneer in shared mobility, is co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center in the Institute of Transportation Studies and an adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering.

“This vision will leverage notable support from our private sector partners, which provided over $103 million in matching funds,” she added.

The funded programs will create new connected high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for public transit and carpools; dedicated curb space for pick-up and drop-off by carpools and ridesharing services; smart traffic signals to reduce congestion and improve safety; a connected, electronic toll system for the congestion pricing program at Treasure Island; and deployment and testing of electronic, autonomous shuttles serving intra-island trips on Treasure Island.

The award comes from the Transportation Department’s Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment program, a competitive grant program for the development of large-scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve transportation safety, efficiency, system performance and infrastructure return on investment.

For more detail, see the San Francisco Chronicle article.