Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that the city’s Department of Transportation will be carving out a new advisory position to get the city ready for new modes of transportation, including ride-sharing and self-driving cars.
Speaking at a Fast Company conference in the city, Garcetti said the position would be a year-long fellowship that aims to create a strategy for everything from next traffic enforcement to integrated WiFi in subways and installing electric vehicle chargers into streetlights.
“It’s about time the car capital of the world planned for the future of transportation in the digital age—moving beyond the car to bikes, ride-shares, and autonomous vehicles,” the mayor said.
Garcetti has been pushing towards smarter, more integrated transportation schemes, lining the streets with LEDs, entering into a ride-sharing partnership with Waze, and beginning to allow UberX to pick up passengers from LAX. The larger question is whether this new position will actually be able affect change and implement policies in a city that’s been grappling with urban planning issues and self-governing cities that don’t like to play nice.