Civic Lab

by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, CA for the TLG 2019 Innovation Showcase program

Dec 19, 2018

Theme: Robust External Partnerships

In its inaugural year,  Civic Lab has proven that innovation, collaboration and culture change is possible for government, and at a regional scale. Civic Lab brings together cross-disciplinary teams to tackle challenging issues related to transportation and land use, and to pilot innovate solutions that can have local and regional impacts. Civic Lab is a project of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), and is designed for public agencies to test and innovate on planning,  programs, and  policy.

 Through Civic Lab,  SACOG assists  teams  in finding  creative solutions to some of the bigger issues facing the region today, and in the future, by designing pilot projects over the duration of the program. This is done through half- and full-day intensive workshops and training with local experts, national leaders, decision makers, and innovators.  Civic Lab is conducted as a cohort style process that takes teams through 8 months of learning, sharing, and planning for pilots.

Year one of Civic Lab focused on smart mobility and how these ‘disruptive technologies’ make the region’s transportation system function more effectively, efficiently, and equitably. SACOG has committed $1 million of its own funds to help launch the pilots, and some teams, with SACOG’s assistance, have found additional resources. This includes: Paratransit, Inc and the BIA Foundation team received funding from Sacramento Transportation Authority to provide mobility options for bringing youth to internship and work opportunities. The Franklin Boulevard Team has launched a microtransit service using Regional Transit’s SmaRT Ride. Two other pilots have received a subsidy and are in the process of finalizing a contract to start services in late 2018 or early 2019. The Apple Hill team applied for a SACOG grant to test lane closures during this fall’s heavy tourism travel period. 

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