THE BLOG
02/19/2013 02:51 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2013

Mayors Challenge Finalist: Hillsboro (Video, Vote)

Idea Summary: GoPoint will help create a balanced suburban transportation system by branding, promoting, and managing a network of mobility hubs that use technology to integrate public and private transportation options. Click here to vote for this idea.

It is hard to keep up with technology because things are changing so quickly. Your cell phone or iPad can take photos, shoot videos, check the weather, play games, get e-mails, Google or post on Facebook, to name a few. Our community habits, however, have not changed as rapidly. We still rely heavily on our cars, often driving alone, to get from point A to point B. Despite our region's propensity to be green, alternative modes of transportation aren't used as widely as they could be because accessing information isn't very convenient and it is not always easy to get where you need to be on time. There is a certain irony that in our wired world we still haven't married information technology with alternative modes of transportation.

In Hillsboro, we see an opportunity. Hillsboro is the fifth largest city in the state and has played a key role in the local, regional and state economy for many years. Our city is known as the 'Silicon Forest' with a constellation of high tech industry and related businesses that spreads far beyond our city limits.

Growth is a by-product of our economic success; we have more than doubled in population since 1995 and our transportation system is showing the strains of that growth. As a major employment center, transportation options are a challenge for the thousands who commute to Hillsboro daily. As a suburban community, we are fortunate to have light rail transit but once people get off the train, options are limited.

Commuters, residents and businesses tell us repeatedly that they are willing to step out of their cars if different ways of getting around are convenient, safe, accessible and simple. If we can develop transportation options that meet all of those criteria which also tap into the way people get information, we think we have a formula for success. Say hello to GoPoint.

The GoPoint program will integrate a full range of transportation options to fill gaps where the primary non-car option--transit--leaves off. It will use existing and emerging transportation technologies and services to create an accessible and coordinated mobility system. GoPoint is a hub concept which recognizes that just because a travel option is available (mobility) does not mean you can use it (accessibility). If it runs at the wrong time, if it takes too long, if it feels unsafe or is too expensive, it won't work.

Envision a network that provides easy, real time access to carpool, vanpool, bikeshare, carshare and other transportation options in the community using the internet, smart phones and on-site kiosks. Travelers will be able to quickly and confidently make the right choice for their trip to a given location knowing the information is accurate and current because it provides instant access to information at a time and place that is convenient for the user.

By harnessing the power of technology, GoPoint will pull together public and private transportation options so it will be easier for people to get around. Now that is a common sense solution to a modern day problem.

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This post is an entry in the Mayors Challenge Fan Favorite Selection, a partnership between The Huffington Post and Bloomberg Philanthropies that allows readers to vote on their favorite idea among the 20 Mayors Challenge finalists. The Mayors Challenge is a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life. To view the ideas from the 20 finalists, click the grid below -- and then vote for your favorite here! And follow the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #MayorsChallenge.

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