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News Release

MTC Joins Successful ‘Startup in Residence’ Program, Seeks Innovators to Help Address Regional Challenges

Chirag Rabari, 415-778-5247

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has been selected to participate in the successful Startup in Residence (STIR) program, which connects government agencies with startups to develop innovative technology solutions for civic challenges. Over 16 weeks from February to May of 2018, prospective startups will embed within MTC to address challenges such as improving traffic incident information for emergency responders, helping transit riders with disabilities submit online applications for discounted fare cards, and better integrating transit service data from the region’s more than 30-plus transit providers.

Startups and entrepreneurs interested in tackling these issues and getting an inside look at one of the nation’s premier metropolitan planning organizations have until January 1, 2018 to apply and be a part of the STIR program. This deadline had been extended from an original date of of December 10, 2017. To apply, visit

“Innovation is key to achieving a stronger transportation system that works for everyone while promoting economic vitality and protecting our environment,” said MTC Deputy Executive Director for Operations, Andrew Fremier. “MTC is excited to work with STIR to explore ways to use technology to further advance and streamline efforts to address the needs of the growing Bay Area population.”

The STIR program began in 2014 as a pilot in the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation and in 2015 expanded to city governments in Oakland, San Leandro and West Sacramento with support from a U.S. Department of Commerce Grant. For 2018, the program is partnering with the City Innovate Foundation to grow into a national network of government organizations working together to modernize government, including 10 cities, one county and the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. 

MTC’s three proposed projects, or civic challenges, are focused on developing technology solutions that will:

  1. Improve the exchange of real-time traffic incident information to help first responders safely and quickly clear roadway emergencies;
  2. Help eligible transit riders with disabilities submit applications for discounted Clipper® fare cards via a secure online portal instead of in-person; and 
  3. Enhance 511 SF Bay’s free, public developer data feeds by integrating transit data from the region’s 30-plus transit providers to better account for transfers, shared stops and stations, and commonly known landmarks.

The STIR program offers education for government and startup staff in areas including partnership, procurement, open data, civic technology trends, the technology marketplace, and new methods of product development and procurement.

“The Startup in Residence program began in San Francisco as an effort to tap into new ideas and utilize the talents of new partners to help solve the challenges facing our residents,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “We are proud that these… cities from across the country are embracing our commitment to innovate and modernize our government.”

For additional information about MTC’s civic challenges, visit

MTC is the regional transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.