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.