by Photo courtesy of SANDAG

The San Diego Association of Governments recently selected three companies that proposed cutting-edge transportation solutions for the region.

The region’s primary transportation planning agency selected Beep, Inc., Cavnue, and Cordoba Corporation out of 18 companies during a request for innovative concepts period that began in November 2021.The companies proposed Autonomous Electric Shuttles, State-Of-The-Art Managed Lanes, and the First Crossborder Trolley, respectively. 

The finalists received a $50,000 stipend to further develop their proposals, which aim to bring solutions to the region in the next 5-10 years. According to SANDAG Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, the proposals allign with the agency's 2021 Regional Plan.  

Each company will work with SANDAG and regional partners to further conceptualize implementation in the region. According to Antoinette Meier, Senior Director of Regional Planning at SANDAG, the companies will develop their concepts further, present them to a panel of experts, regional stakeholders, and the public in early October and participate in a question and answer session. 

SANDAG officials say the companies can enter into agreements to fund and further the proposals if they are approved. 

“Our region is poised to lead the nation in implementing next-generation transportation technologies,” said SANDAG CEO Hasan Ikhrata. “SANDAG is proud to try a new way of doing business to deliver first-in-the-nation concepts that will bring our Regional Plan to life.”

In partnership with Balfour Beatty, Kittleson, and TESIAC, the Orlando, Florida-based company, Beep, Inc., proposed to implement mobility hubs to create a network of autonomous electric shuttles designed as a neighborhood circulator. According to the company’s proposal, the alternative transportation network “will provide first- and last-mile connections to existing transit services”, including strategically located electric vehicle charging infrastructure. 

Courtesy of SANDAG

The plan also includes placemaking amenities to support the mobility networks. Future concepts for the proposal include microgrids, substations, and solar power at locations to “support growth and enable the first demonstrated self-sustaining electric mobility hub”, the company said. 

“Redefining mobility requires transformative solutions that enhance connectivity to existing transit services and provide sustainable transportation options for all,” said Beep CEO Joe Moye. “Beep and our partners are honored to be a finalist for SANDAG’s innovative concepts, which will ensure mobility equity, reduce carbon emissions and provide safer roads for everyone.”

Cavnue’s proposal seeks to bring “a state-of-the-art, next-generation managed lanes network to improve the speed and reliability of transit and shared mobility services”. In partnership with Globalvia, Meridiam, AECOM, and Via, the company seeks to use technology-enabled infrastructure to improve safety, optimize the performance of existing roadways in the region, and prepare San Diego’s infrastructure for autonomous driving and connected vehicles.

The company notes that “new on-demand transit services provide first-mile/last-mile connects and feed into the modernized managed lanes.” 

Courtesy of SANDAG

“The time is now to ensure that our roadways operate in a manner that will enable them to realize all of the safety and functionality benefits of connected and automated vehicles,” said co-founder and CEO of Cavnue Tyler Duvall. “Together with our partners, Globalvia and Meridiam, we are eager to collaborate with SANDAG and local stakeholders to explore opportunities to adapt existing and new roadway environments for connected and automated vehicles that will allow for safer, faster and more widely available transportation throughout the San Diego region.”

Cordoba Corporation proposed a transit border crossing, extending the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Blue Line Trolley one mile into Tijuana, expanding the San Ysidro Transit Center, building connecting pre-clearance border crossing facilities, and providing improved traveler information through Intelligent Transportation System upgrades. The company will partner with Sener, Rincon, Kleinfelder, iteris, Fehr & Peers, Gruen Associates, Cal y Mayor, Kosmont, VMA, and MBI to develop this proposal. 

If the proposal is accepted, it will be the first of its kind transit border crossing in the country, according to SANDAG. 

Courtesy of SANDAG

"Cordoba's proposed concept modernizes mobility in the Cali-Baja Region, fast tracks delivery for an efficient and secure border crossing, all while mitigating congestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, meeting environmental justice principles, advancing social equity, revitalizing our urban core in Tijuana and San Diego, and strengthening U.S.-Mexico relations to uphold our North American competitiveness and quality of life,” said Director of Programs and Policy, Cordoba Corp Jacqueline Reynoso. 

Although the proposal aims to utilize the Blue Line Trolley, MTS says its not directly involved with the proposal. 

“There have been discussions about a cross-border Trolley connection going back 30 years. There are many challenges around the border crossing to make this happen. MTS is willing to meet and discuss the current efforts with the appropriate authorities both in the United States and in Mexico,” MTS wrote in an emailed statement to Chula Vista Today. 

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