EMERGING MOBILITY | FAQS

What are Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies?

What are Transportation Network Companies?

What agencies are studying Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies?

What is the timeline of the Transportation Authority and SFMTA’s work on studying Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies?

What are the City of San Francisco’s ten Guiding Principles for Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies?

What policies is the City considering to address potential benefits and concerns related to Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies that do not meet the Guiding Principles?

When will the general public have a chance to weigh in on this process?


What are Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies?

According to the Transportation Authority and SFMTA, an Emerging Mobility Service or Technology is one that automates three or more of the following services:

  • Driving
  • Routing
  • Reservations/orders
  • Vehicle tracking
  • Billing
  • Customer feedback
  • Matching/sharing
  • Crowd-sourced routing
  • (Un)locking

Examples of Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies include ride-hail services, autonomous vehicles, bike share, and ride-pooling services.

What are Transportation Network Companies?

Transportation Network Companies, also known as ride-hailing or ridesourcing companies, are an example of an Emerging Mobility Service and Technology type. They are distinguished from taxi services by their inability to street hail (ride-hailing companies can only pick up pre-arranged rides). The companies are known in California as Transportation Network Companies or TNCs and are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. Uber and Lyft are two examples of Transportation Network Companies.

What agencies are studying Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies?

The Transportation Authority and SFMTA are leading a series of reports on Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies and Transportation Network Companies in San Francisco.

  • San Francisco County Transportation Authority: Funds a wide range of transportation improvements and serves as the county Congestion Management Agency for San Francisco.
  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA): Manages city streets, including parking and curb access; operates transit and regulates taxis.

What is the timeline of the Transportation Authority and SFMTA’s work on studying Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies?

From 2017 through 2018, the Transportation Authority and SFMTA are conducting a series of reports on Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies, including Transportation Network Companies. 

In August 2017, the Transportation Authority and SFMTA hosted a partner workshop to give participants an opportunity to come together and discuss how the City should evaluate Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies, hear suggestions made by other companies and community members, and discuss how they can help the City meet its goals. The project team conducted outreach to more than 50 individuals, organizations, agencies, and companies who are involved with or impacted by these services and technologies for this workshop.

The Transportation Authority used conclusions made from this workshop to conduct a series of reports on Emerging Mobility Service and Technology types. Part of this evaluation is an assessment to identify gaps in our information. To fill these gaps, the Transportation Authority is reaching out to workshop participants for any data they are willing to share. This evaluation will cover types of Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies—such as carshare, bikeshare, TNCs, scooter share, etc.—rather than specific companies such as Zipcar or car2go.

The studies are part of a collaborative effort. We are committed to working with San Francisco and Bay Area public agencies, community stakeholders, emerging mobility companies, and advocacy groups to understand how we can work together and learn from each other.

Following the evaluation, Transportation Authority staff will draft a final report with potential policy options, future studies, and potential pilot programs.

What are the City of San Francisco’s ten Guiding Principles for Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies?

The Transportation Authority and SFMTA have developed 10 guiding principles, based on existing and adopted City policies, to identify goals and policies related to Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies. These principles will guide how the City evaluates these services and technologies, collaborates with the providers, and develops policy responses to new innovations.

10 Guiding principles

  • Maintain roadway safety through SF Vision Zero
  • Encourage mass transit through SF Transit First
  • Ensure equitable access for people of all backgrounds or means
  • Increase mobility opportunities for people of all abilities
  • Improve environmental sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through SF Climate Action Strategy
  • Reduce roadway congestion
  • Improve accountability through data-driven decision making
  • Ensure fairness in labor practices
  • Promote positive financial impacts and a state of good repair
  • Collaborate openly with public agencies, the community and innovative companies to improve our city together.

What policies is the City considering to address potential benefits and concerns related to Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies that do not meet the Guiding Principles?

The Emerging Mobility evaluation will identify areas where these services and technologies are helping meet City goals and where improvement may be needed. The Transportation Authority and SFMTA will collaborate with Emerging Mobility Service and Technology companies to identify best practices and new strategies to achieve the Guiding Principles.

When will the general public have a chance to weigh in on this process?

Public input is an important part of the process in helping our city adapt to Emerging Mobility Services and Technologies. Members of the public are encouraged to provide input at Transportation Authority Board and Citizens Advisory Committee meetings and submit feedback on our website.