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Skip Descant

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas for Government Technology magazine.

Regional government organizations in Sacramento and Denver have taken an oversight and data collection role in micromobility operations, showing that they are well-positioned to navigate these planning efforts.
L.A. Metro has turned to technology to monitor and enforce dedicated bus lane rules. Metro plans to issue a request for proposals this summer that would identify a technology partner for wider application on other bus routes.
Cities like Los Angeles worked fast during the COVID-19 pandemic to radically change the way we think about sidewalks, curbs and parking areas. Many of the changes government and businesses made, some through technology, are here to stay.
A bill introduced in the state Legislature aims to make the transit experience across the San Francisco Bay Area’s 27 providers more seamless. The bill would appoint a regional commission to lead the effort.
A new no-touch fare system at Santa Maria Regional Transit is making rides free for students at the local community college. The change has made the system more efficient on several levels.
The city’s pick for the C-level post comes from within City Hall and brings with him a dedication to digital inclusion.
LA Secure, a new free app for riders of buses and trains across the Los Angeles Metro system, alerts riders of malicious links, rogue Wi-Fi signals and other cybersecurity threats associated with using public transit Wi-Fi.
The California Department of General Services has issued a request for proposal to make it easier for transit providers in the state to acquire the needed hardware and software to support contactless payment systems.
A traffic signal upgrade project will involve 26 intersections around the University of California, San Diego. The project will use adaptive software to enhance mobility across the region.
La Quinta, in Southern California’s lush Coachella Valley, has turned to an AI-powered solution that mines real estate transactions and other data to zero in on the homes that are operating as unpermitted vacation rentals.
A plan to modernize IT and better enable a work-from-anywhere posture in Santa Monica served the city well when the COVID-19 pandemic reshuffled city services and how they are delivered.
Three augmented reality projects have been awarded $20,000 each by US Ignite to develop projects that use AR technology to address city concerns like transportation, education or health care.
Ticketing and trip-planning across some half-dozen transit providers in San Joaquin County have been brought under one app, allowing for an easy jump for riders moving from one system to another.
A study conducted by the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University found that cybersecurity protocols and general concern about cyberthreats were inadequate across many agencies.
“This venture has the potential to be a key driver of jobs in L.A. and to knit together the fabric of our transportation systems as a low-noise, all electric, accessible and affordable option for getting around,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
“We wanted to identify how to deploy such a service in San Jose in different locales. Is it suitable for all of our city streets?” said Andrea Arjona, transportation specialist with the San Jose Department of Transportation.
Fleet management officials in the capital and elsewhere are using technology to better track their vehicles and gain detailed insights into vehicle operations for both gas- and electric-powered autos.
The information harvested from e-scooters and newer forms of mobility has helped San Diego shape the way these types of vehicles will become a part of the city.
The legislation is designed to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure in underserved communities as well as create a new program within the California Energy Commission to fund school upgrades through electric ratepayer-funded energy efficiency efforts.
Trip data, which includes real-time locations and routes, could — without a significant amount of effort — be fleshed out to reveal the individual identities of riders, the lawsuit states.
The city’s public-facing website is dedicated to COVID-19 resources for residents and businesses. Features include the mapping of available essential services and other timely data.
Three California cities have explored locating chargers for electric vehicles in the public right of way. The changes promise to help normalize zero-emissions vehicles across the state.
Private-sector researchers and officials with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) say that one or two weeks is not enough time to get a thorough understanding of the effects of greatly reducing traffic.
A new service geared toward closing first- and last-mile gaps for commuters, announced in Sacramento and Davis, will also collect vehicle data for autonomous advancements.
The Veloz electric vehicle forum, titled "Electric Transportation 2030: Policy, Power and Plugs"' brought together attendees from private, public and nonprofit sectors.
The state’s most populous city will station an electric-powered fire truck at its Hollywood station. It’s one of several moves city officials are making to cut carbon emissions.
The San Jose Digital Inclusion Fund is expected to generate $24 million over 10 years by collecting lease revenue from telecommunications firms. The first round of grants is about to hook thousands up to the Internet.
After four years in the public sector, San Jose’s chief innovation officer will join a Bay Area startup.
Metrolink, a commuter rail service in the Los Angeles metro area, has already been credited with eliminating more than 300 million vehicle miles from the region's notoriously clogged highways last year.
Four L.A.-area pilots will each receive $100,000 toward boosting zero-emission transportation. The initiatives aim to offer new modes of travel to underserved communities.