Efficiency is a core tenet of sustainable mobility, and one of the simplest methods to increase efficiency is to increase transparency. So, where is transparency most lacking? Business.
Across Pittsburgh, there are thousands of vehicles at any given moment delivering goods or employees to a wide array of local destinations, and doing so without even the slightest interest in external coordination. Pizza delivery drivers, couriers, and traveling salespeople pass each other along the same route, each with ample room to haul the others -- or haul something else. It's the nature of a competitive market to overlook these redundancies, but it means business traffic is squandered data: no one outside of each individual business knows the routes and destinations, so no efficiencies can be realized.
Those days of inefficiency are numbered, as big tech is beginning to eat up the logistics of shipping. Amazon, Uber, even Walmart's attempt to turn employees into part-time delivery drivers -- these are major players building a next-generation transportation grid right under the noses of city officials (who have an archaic idea of what infrastructure is) and business owners (who are easily swayed by short-term gains.)
If a region likes the idea of handing transportation management over to a private corporation, then this is a fine way to do it. But assuming that's not the case, cities like Pittsburgh need to get in the game, keeping the grid's goals aligned to community benefit, keeping mom & pop shops viable, and offering a productive/proactive approach to collaboration with logistics/transportation tech companies. As a pilot, this could come to fruition over 9-12 months through a phased approach (described below in the Pilot Design section.)