Treasure Island, San Francisco - The Treasure Island Mobility Management Agency (TIMMA) and the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) celebrated the launch of TIMMA's autonomous shuttle pilot - called the Loop - on August 16th with agency partners and community leaders, and commenced public service from the Ship Shape Community Center at 3 p.m.
The Loop is one of California's first demonstrations of AV shuttles operating entirely on public roads. It will provide free rides using fully electric autonomous shuttles with an attendant on-board at all times. The shuttle will pick up passengers along a fixed route that features seven stops around the core of Treasure Island and can accommodate wheelchair users.
The Loop service will operate seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. connecting Treasure Island neighborhoods to community centers and commercial venues. The route complements a portion of Muni 25 line service on the northern part of the Island, with two autonomous vehicles running approximately every 20 minutes.
Funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the pilot will operate for nine months and is designed to help TIMMA better understand how a shuttle service could meet the needs of people traveling around the neighborhood and provide the community with opportunities to learn about driverless technology.
“We are delighted to launch the new autonomous vehicle shuttle to serve Treasure Island,” said Treasure Island Mobility Management Agency Chair and District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. “This is a community with unique transportation needs and challenges, and this innovative pilot will give us insight into how autonomous vehicles can enhance neighborhood access and promote community-wide learning.”
“We are thrilled for this free service to support the Treasure Island community,” said V. Fei Tsen, President of project partner Treasure Island Development Authority. “This new service is a further example of our comprehensive approach to expanding transportation options for current neighborhoods and businesses, as well as for new residents coming to Treasure Island.”
The AV shuttles are provided and operated by Beep, an autonomous vehicle firm that was selected by TIMMA. Following approvals from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, California Department of Motor Vehicles and California Public Utilities Commission, Beep staff tested the vehicles for several weeks on Treasure Island, evaluating the shuttles’ software, lidar, and communications capabilities. Beep also led training for the attendants who will be on board the shuttles. Attendants can take control of the shuttle if needed, answer questions, and assist passengers. The operations and service of the vehicles will be continuously monitored through the Beep Command Center.
During testing, TIMMA staff arranged meetings with city agencies and key community groups to coordinate operational protocols and obtain feedback. These included workshops with first responders and staff from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to review safety protocols and accessibility features, and to ensure coordination with Muni’s 25 Treasure Island bus line.
As part of the pilot, TIMMA is collecting rider feedback through an ongoing survey. The survey will help the project team understand how well the shuttles address the community’s travel needs. The Loop team held community workshops with some local groups including One Treasure Island and Lighthouse for the Blind. The survey and more information are available at ti-loop.com.
“We invite the community to take the Loop to get to businesses and destinations on the Island - and to give us your feedback,” said Loop project manager Aliza Paz. “This pilot is designed to promote learning and we’re happy to hear from riders and the broader community. Please take our survey, send an email, or call us with your comments and questions.”
Funding and Evaluation
This pilot is funded by grants for new mobility technology and community partnerships from the Federal Highway Administration, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and Transportation Authority’s Prop L transportation sales tax program. In addition to providing public shuttle services, planned pilot program activities include educational events and workforce development exchanges, as well as a robust operational and public perceptions evaluation component.
Press contact: Eric Young, SFCTA; 415-306-4509, email@example.com
- Treasure Island autonomous shuttle pilot project page
- The Loop rider website (ti-loop.com) includes map of route