Commute Innovations Come to San Mateo

With job growth surging in the region, it’s no surprise that the Bay Area’s roads and highways are significantly congested and top traffic lists. But did you know that the greater San Mateo region is among top innovators in developing solutions to help ease your commute?

The City of San Mateo made news this week announcing its partnership, along with Foster City, with Scoop Technologies, which makes a carpooling app to make the process easy, efficient and flexible.

“We want to encourage both residents who live in these towns and commuters who work in them to carpool,” said Rob Sadow, CEO of San Francisco’s Scoop. “This is a first-of-its-kind agreement by these cities to aggressively support carpooling by contributing (money) to reduce the cost of trips.”

People who give rides via Scoop typically receive around $5 per passenger for a trip of 20 miles, or about 25 cents a mile. Under the program, riders’ fees will be capped at $2 per trip with the cities picking up the tab for the rest. San Mateo has budgeted $30,000 for the trial, which started at the beginning of October and continues until the funds are exhausted.

News of the Scoop public / private partnership came on the heels of California Public Utilities Commission approving two new private ferry operators to begin public commuter service this year from Berkeley and Emeryville to San Francisco and Redwood City. In addition, the Bay Area’s largest public ferry agency is in the midst of a massive overhaul, investing some $260 million on new maintenance facilities, vessels and an expanded ferry terminal in San Francisco.

PROP SF’s CEO and founder James Jaber said the company’s 36-passenger ferry could carry as many as 760 commuters a day and expects to begin operating daily commuter service in Berkeley, Emeryville, San Francisco and Redwood City in the first week of 2017. The exact pickup and drop-off locations will be released Oct. 18, Jaber said.

PROP SF currently offered commuter ferry service for private employers or people who book rides in advance, but the new approved services will run on regular routes and will be open to the public.

Looking for a great place to ride? Bay Meadows and the surrounding San Mateo area are bike friendly and offer many different paths to ride and sights to see. The City of San Mateo even have an easy-to-use bike-sharing system, Bay Bikes. Plus, Bay Meadows has a convenient bike map that you can download here, so you can decide exactly where to ride. Some resident favorites include the Bay Trail as well as Coyote Point Park, and here’s a handy list of 10 sites within a six-mile bike ride. And join the Bay Meadows email list to stay on top of fun dates, such as Bike to Work Day 2017!