Digital Tourism

Tourism is a key component of the local economy, so it is critical that Saratoga Springs remain a prime destination of choice in Update New York. The Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau (SCTB) is just one example of the economic development engines of Saratoga Springs that work to promote and market the city—preparing visitors for an experience like no other!

Achievements

  • The SCTB deployed an interactive mobile/web application to help visitors find their way to attractions, services, entertainment, and events.
  • The City installed QR codes on replica quarter-mile posts from the Saratoga Race Course along Broadway in Downtown Saratoga Springs to provide tourist information with the click of a button.

Goals

  • Support preservation efforts through Saratoga Preservation Foundation
  • Community leaders to provide an even better on-street experience through Smart City Roadmap initiatives and projects (such as Public Wi-Fi, Complete Streets, and Smart Parking)

Online Government

As the public sector continues to empower constituents to stop waiting in line and instead transact and collaborate online, the City of Saratoga Springs wants to follow suit, moving beyond efficiencies to overall reform and development. E-government applications enhance the effectiveness of service delivery, support government procedures, and increase citizen participation—while saving money for taxpayers.

Goals

  • Create a better business environment
  • Improve service delivery and the social welfare of citizens
  • Increase productivity and efficiency of government agencies
  • Enable cost savings for taxpayers as well as government agencies

Safe City

The Saratoga Public Safety Division is responsible for protecting residents, businesses, and visitors from crime, disorder, fire, hazards, and natural disasters. In today’s rapidly changing world, it is increasingly important that the infrastructure and technology needed to support public safety initiatives are in place to support day-to-day functions.

Goals

  • Ensure crime rates remain low
  • Continue to make Saratoga Springs a safe environment
  • Utilize technology to support first responders
  • Engage the community in public safety improvements
  • Increase broadband speeds to support transfer of data and other critical communications

Smarter City Infrastructure

The Saratoga Springs Department of Public Works (DPW) maintains the city’s infrastructure, managing Saratoga’s water, wastewater, transportation, landfill, fleet, environmental, and renewable power systems around the clock. Smart technology such as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) would not only cut costs but also enable DPW to work more efficiently.

Goals

  • Utilize technology to improve public-works-related functions
  • Enable real-time monitoring of snow plows so that citizens can find the best route to their designated destination
  • Utilize AMI for real-time monitoring and cost savings
  • Incorporate planned and future communications infrastructure through a notification system to local agencies and service providers about current and upcoming roadway projects

The Business Connection

Goals

  • Foster cooperation between key stakeholder groups: the Downtown Business Association, Convention & Tourism Bureau, the City Center, Chamber of Commerce, Special Assessment District, local government, police force, Preservation Foundation, and the Historical Society
  • Increase consumption rates for business owners through the use of public Wi-Fi, smart parking, and QR codes that provide tourist information to visitors
  • Create a sustainable and prosperous economic growth for local businesses
  • Provide applications for business owners that allow them to analyze and run their business efficiently
  • Create an atmosphere that fosters business development
  • Improve productivity between the public and private sector through applications such as e-government
  • Reduce carbon footprint

Travel Smarter

Complete Streets

The Complete Streets Plan incorporates the needs of all modes of transportation and, as a result, improves the safety, health, economy, and environment of a community. Automated usage data, site visits, and community input are collected and analyzed to form an action-oriented plan that helps maintain and improve the healthy and active lifestyles currently enjoyed by Saratoga Springs residents and visitors.

  •  All capital projects on streets and roadways to include appropriate elements of Complete Streets for all modes of  travel
  •  Integrate Complete Streets within ongoing infrastructure management, both public and private
  •  Include Complete Streets in the development review process
  •  Educate professional staff and residents through professional training and outreach
  •  Demonstrate the value of Complete Streets through catalyst projects on significant streets throughout the city

Smart Parking

Like any first-class tourist destination, the population of Saratoga Springs can mushroom on any given day. To address the parking challenge, the City plans to use traditional and smart technologies—and has already begun implementation. For example, Saratoga Springs has invested in online interactive mapping, mobile applications such as ParkMe, and traditional improvements to signage to provide clearer information about Downtown locations and to reduce congestion and confusion. 

  • Utilize existing infrastructure and maximize existing, often underutilized,parking spaces
  • Continue to monitor and understand root causes of the parking challenge
  • Reduce congestion, gas consumption, and wasteful greenhouse gas emissionsby getting motorists to open parking spaces more quickly
  • Look to smart data, software, sensors, and mobile device integration

Smart Transit

For years, CDTA has led the region in the design of intelligent, efficient, and sustainable programs, such as Complete Streets design, enhanced intelligent transportation systems, and growth of alternative fuel and transportation modes. CDTA’s close work with the City and County of Saratoga, residents, businesses, and community groups is mirrored in many of the City’s plans and policies.

  • Complete Saratoga route restructuring to improve connectivity and efficiency
  • Introduce digital taxi service
  • Improve trolley service
  • Introduce bike share program
  • Implement extensive intelligent transportation system (ITS) upgrade, including more than 20 technologies that will improve overall quality of transit in Saratoga
  • Coordinate with DPW and the City’s Complete Streets projects
  • Expand the definition of transit and include modes from fixed transit lines to autonomous vehicles

Traffic Management

As mobility continues to grow, so does the density of vehicle movement. Traffic congestion results in massive delays, increased fuel wastage, and monetary loses. Saratoga Springs is working to improve traffic flows throughout the city so that citizens and visitors can get to their desired locations smoothly and safely.

  • Offer a way-finding program to provide clearer information about Downtown locations, reduce congestion and confusion, and make the city more attractive to businesses and visitors
  • Implement Complete Streets initiatives to provide a safe and accessible city street network
  • Improve the flow of traffic through Downtown
  • Identify opportunities for improvement in the Central Urban Traffic Control System

Possible Solutions from RPI 

Trolley Application

The trolley system is a seasonal service offered in the summer primarily geared towards tourists. The proposed mobile applications will make the overall trolley experience more interactive and intuitive.  The app will include the following features:

  • GPS Trolley Tracking and Estimated Arrival Time
  • Interactive maps that will inform tourists of attractions at each stop, as well as historical background
  • Nearest trolley stop indicator
  • Mobile Trolley ticket sales
  • Recommended ‘packages’ for categories like Historic, Couples, or Kids

Smart City Parking - Street/Garage parking (Camera and sensors installation)

Installation of cameras and sensors throughout streets, parking lots and garages, which are based on image recognition technology and to determine the vacant parking slots at any given point of the day. A city wide smart network would be used to give details about the parking availability through a mobile app.

IPS Group and Streetline are two major vendors who provide different multi purpose parking sensors. Costs associated with each sensors and their installation should be considered.

Mobile apps like Pango, VoicePark, ParkMe etc would be used for functions like parking spot availability, mobile payment, alerts, reservation.

Smart City Parking - Smart Cars & Mobile App

Proposal ofusing a mobile application to assist drivers in finding a parking spot using the driver’s GPS location and displaying all available parking spots in their vicinity to reduce the amount of time invested in searching parking spots.

Installation of sensors to determine the scope, feasibility and cost of implementing sensors to determine the parking lots availability and linking with smart infrastructure wifi.

Self driving and self parking cars have been the revolutionary invention of this century. Automated parking using laser scanning and a robotic valet will increase parking space utilization. Internet of Things (IoT) will help to connect the meters and gates to the internet, helping parking authorities on insights of utilization rates, peak times, revenue generation etc. Other initiatives may include

  •  Smart Card access to public transport and also for making online payments
  •  Dynamic pricing of the parking lots based on availability and occupancy
  •  Optimization of traffic flow based on the parking data