Startups invited to create real-time transit mapping platform for emergency response


Startups, innovators and entrepreneurs are invited to apply to become a ‘Startup in Residence’ (STIR) with California’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to develop a Bay Area transit visual information system for use by emergency managers in times of crisis.

The STIR program connects businesses and technology talent with public agencies such as the MTC in an effort to collaborate on innovative solutions to public sector problems. In its role as the regional transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, this year the MTC has one challenge: a regional mapping platform that will assist with emergency response. The Commission is seeking a robust but easy-to-use solution to improve emergency managers’ ability to graphically visualize, in real-time, such critical information as the transit vehicles and other assets available, and the conditions in which they must operate.

Bay Area emergency operations managers currently must visit a variety of complex online platforms to gather critical information. But when time is of the essence, it would take an unnecessary amount of time to visit all of these sites in order to implement an Incident Action Plan to prepare for the emergency response. Many of these critical information data points, such as transit assets (bus and rail locations) have publicly available API’s made available by the respective transit agencies, however, currently there is no regional mapping platform that will let an emergency manager visualize all of the assets at one time at the regional level.

Applications for MTC’s project are due November 20, and if selected by Commission, the organization will complete a pro bono residency over 16 weeks starting in February 2020. Through this work, the selected participant will get an inside look at one of the USA’s premier metropolitan planning organizations. At the conclusion of the residency, if the participating organization’s solution is approved by MTC, STIR’s expedited procurement process will streamline the path to contracting for the product.

The STIR program is offered by City Innovate, a San Francisco-based Public Benefit Corporation dedicated to helping emerging technology companies solve challenges in government. STIR offers a framework for governments to solve challenges in collaboration with startups through a structured process that drives rapid innovation. MTC joins nearly 30 government partners participating in the Startup in Residence program this year. Since 2014, startups from around the world have provided technology solutions to cities including San Francisco, Oakland, Miami and Houston.

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About Author


Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.