IF ALL goes according to the five-year plan approved by the Board of Supervisors, the city and county of San Francisco will upgrade its technology infrastructure to accommodate such trendy things as social networks, cloud computing, crowd-sourcing, open-source software and location-aware apps. But by then it will be 2016, or more than 10 product cycles by Silicon Valley standards.
Meanwhile, a small team of volunteers took just 10 days last summer to create an Apple iPad app that uses Global Positioning System technology to track all of the city's buses in real time, allowing transit managers and passengers to monitor problems and delays.
But now, 10 months later, the app is unused. Muni is $29 million over budget and can't afford to buy the iPads required to run the software.
According to the article, government cannot keep up with the rapid technology advancements that consumers are accustomed to because despite cost savings that agile projects like SMART Muni can offer, government officials are adverse to the risks that many tech companies routinely take.
Read more of Shane Shifflett's article in the NY Times here >