After kicking the tires for a few years, Mountain View city leaders are now laying down money for what some might call a moonshot project to solve the area's traffic troubles.
Last month, the City Council commissioned a $250,000 study to look into building a newfangled transit line linking the city's downtown transit center and the bustling North Bayshore tech hub.
The study is officially investigating what is known as automated-guideway transit (AGT), a broad term that covers various driverless systems that usually move along guideways above the roadways. By their nature, these systems avoid much of the difficult property acquisition that hinders many transportation projects.
As part of the study, the San Francisco-based transportation firm Lea+Elliott will investigate potential routes for an initial AGT transit line as well as what kind of system would be most appropriate for the job.
The firm will also conduct a market study to find out whether passenger demand could eventually pay the costs of the transit line. The consultants are expected to deliver a final report to the city around fall of this year.
The City Council approved the AGT study in a 7-0 vote on the consent agenda at its Dec. 6 meeting.