SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A group of volunteers has come up with an app for managers to track problems on the San Francisco Muni system in real time. But the transit agency appears to be a long way from adopting the new technology that could make buses and trains run more smoothly.

The Smart Muni app was developed specifically for the Apple iPad. It would allow Muni managers to track buses through GPS technology, making it easier to identify delays. Sounds promising, but the transit agency is still considering its high tech options.

“This app aims to increase efficiency with operations for other possibilities, as well, and we want to look at those possibilities before we make a final decision,” explained Muni spokesman Paul Rose. “We’re not going to fund something if we’re not certain that we’re going to move forward with it. It’s less about budget than it is about looking at each proposal before we make a final decision.”

The City of San Francisco has committed to a five-year plan to upgrade its tech infrastructure to accommodate things like these “location-aware” apps. The decision by Muni to hold off on committing to a specific GPS-based system is frustrating for some, like the volunteers who designed the Smart Muni app 10 months ago.

“This illustrates the broader problem that there needs to be more infrastructure and more systems in place to help takes those innovations from the outside back inside government,” reasoned Abhi Nemani with Code for America.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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