SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which manages transportation in the city, including the regulation of taxis, this week approved legislation that will require all taxicabs in San Francisco to allow the installation of equipment that will collect and provide real-time location and occupancy data to smart phone application developers. Vendor Frias Transportation Infrastructure's (FTi) proprietary RideIntegrity system will use this equipment to create a single authoritative data stream that will provide the traveling public quicker and easier access to taxis.
"Taxis are a vital part of San Francisco's transportation system," said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. "This is another investment in the future of transportation in our city. Improving existing service will not only enrich our current customers' experience, but also help further our commitment to San Francisco's Transit First policy by attracting additional taxi customers."
"Innovation is a key component to our overall efforts to improve San Francisco taxi service," said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. "By putting real-time information in the hands of the public we will improve the taxi experience for our customers, while ensuring that the industry can grow with advancing technology."
The FTi RideIntegrity system will be used to create the SFMTA's Electronic Taxi Access system, which is intended to provide public access to all San Francisco taxis through smart phone and internet platforms. The legislation requires all motor-vehicle-for-hire permit holders to cooperate with implementation of the ETA System, including those with dispatch service permits and color scheme permits.
"RideIntegrity is a unique, first-of-its-kind technology for the for-hire-vehicle industry," said Mark James, President and CEO of FTi. "We see our program with the SFMTA as a major stepping stone in proving the efficacy and versatility of using real-time data to maximize current resources to effectively regulate, manage and mitigate common problems in the for-hire industry."
The SFMTA will be able to use this powerful tool to analyze taxi service trends by identifying areas of the city and time periods when there is too much service or not enough. This will help the Agency in its regulatory capacity provide the city and the taxi industry better taxi service data to better manage service. It will also provide information for improved customer service follow up and, eventually, on-street inspections.
The SFMTA issued a Request for Information for a real-time taxi data system to collect and make available the data necessary to give the public access to available San Francisco taxi vehicles in response to an electronic hail from a smart phone. FTi's was the most responsive submittal. FTi's software system will collect GPS and other data from dispatch service permit holders and make them available to any mobile phone application developer who enters into a use agreement with the SFMTA. The terms of the use agreement have not been finalized.
The scope of services that RideIntegrity can provide to the SFMTA and other regulatory bodies is unique and based on patent pending technologies that cannot be replicated by any other transportation industry vendors. This cloud-based system was named after its ability to provide one sound, unimpaired system for use by all parties to a for-hire vehicle ride to allow them to obtain, supply, monitor and regulate.
About the SFMTA
Established by voter proposition in 1999, the SFMTA, a department of the City and County of San Francisco, oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), parking and traffic, bicycling, walking and taxis. With five modes of transit, Muni has approximately 700,000 passenger boardings each day. Over 35,000 extra vehicles enter San Francisco on any given business day, and rely on the SFMTA to keep the flow of cars, transit vehicles, taxis, delivery trucks, pedestrians and bicycles moving smoothly through the streets.
FTi's RideIntegrity system provides a means of integrating the systems of all parties offering taxicab, dispatch or e-hailing services so that all parties are accountable and the riding public and drivers will be protected. RideIntegrity provides regulators not only with real time data collection from the vehicles they regulate, but with real time analytics, which means that regulators will now be able to determine whether there are problems that need to be addressed and do so immediately. Additionally, RideIntegrity gives the public access to information about taxicabs in the area as well as their ride and fare from a smartphone or other device.
SOURCE Frias Transportation Infrastructure