SAN ANTONIO – Drone delivery, hyperloops, self-driving cars: all technologies under development that could see wide use in just a matter of years.
As the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization works to figure out the region’s long-term transportation priorities over the next 30 years, it wants to know how the public feels about those technologies and others.
“Many of these technologies that you might use right now that a year ago, we would never have thought about,” said Allie Blazosky, transportation planning program manager for the Alamo Area MPO. “So curbside delivery, same day delivery, the things that your car can do like keep you within your lane, people are becoming more comfortable with those as we’re seeing in the survey results.”
The Future of Transportation survey is ongoing and AAMPO will collect input through November. The results could be used to shape policy and funding priorities in the coming decades.
“We probably are not even thinking of some of the technologies that could be around in 10 years,” Blazoksy said. “This is a chance for our agency to try to start documenting how people feel.”
The survey is also asking about the future of public transit. VIA Metropolitan Transit is moving forward with its advanced rapid transit plan. The north/south line would mostly run along the San Pedro Avenue corridor beginning in 2027. Technology is moving so fast that it may not be buses that run on the line.
“We called it Advanced Rapid Transit because we intend to buy the most advanced vehicle possible,” said VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt. “It depends on where the technology is.”
That could include automated vehicles – think trains without rails - that dock themselves to stations. The technology has only been deployed in China so far, with agencies in other countries considering whether and how to make the switch.
“If we don’t have the technology in place at that point, I would want to keep open the opportunity to get that technology maybe five years later,” Arndt said.
Arndt said the vote last year to allocate more sales taxes to VIA beginning in 2026 shows that the community is ready to explore new ideas and technology when it comes to transportation.
“You have to run fast to keep up…you have to run fast so you don’t fall further back, so I think there’s a great deal of openness to a wide range of solutions,” Arndt said.
The ART plan is set to soon undergo a federal review, and public involvement will be a part of that process.
The Alamo Area MPO hopes to continue outreach efforts over the coming weeks so that more people both learn about and complete the survey.
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