#OpenData and Real-Time Information Saves San Francisco Over $1 Million

Can open data save government money?June 25, 2012

By: Kate Maeder

Over the weekend, San Francisco Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath announced via Twitter that access to real-time transit data resulted in 21.7% fewer SF 311 calls – and at $2 per call – that yielded a savings of over $1 million a year.

Ok, you’re thinking: it’s only $1 million, right? Well, these innovative incremental savings can add up to greater funds for our public schools and vital city services.

Can Open Data Save Government Money?

Can open data save governments money? The short answer is yes. But what are other ways open data can save money, cut costs, and help cities be more effective so that our lives are a little bit easier?

[How can we make San Francisco city government work better for all of us? Sign up for the Reset SF Newsletter to learn more.]

The city is doing a good job at starting to engage and challenge the community to participate and contribute their ideas for improving the city on its ImproveSF site. At Reset, we’re big fans of using gamification and web 2.0 tools to crowdsource ideas from everyday city residents.

So what if the next “challenge” crowdsources cost-saving proposals using more open data? The community might have some innovative ideas that could actually work. Feels like Government 2.0 in action.

Reset San Francisco is always discussing ways to make government faster, smarter and more efficient – and when Nath threw this up on the Twitterverse, we knew that we had to share the good news.

Government 2.0 Also Means Greater Access For All

Government 2.0 means greater access to our government through digital technology. But it’s important to remember that everyone – all constituents – need to have the ability to connect to these resources. Even as you read this, the digital divide is growing. We need to do everything we can to help close the widening gap between those with access and those without.

That’s why we’re championing Reset San Francisco Founder Phil Ting’s proposal for Universal Internet Access. Please sign the petition if you haven’t done so yet, and please spread the word.

Click here to learn more about ImproveSF’s latest challenge on food justice in the Tenderloin/Central market neighborhood. Read the proposed ideas and vote for the one you think is best.


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Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137