Surplus Harvest

What are we doing?

Joint Venture is collaborating with Urban Harvester, a 501(c) 3 non-profit, to ameliorate hunger and poverty in Silicon Valley by redistributing the community's wasted fresh foods.

The two organizations are pursuing a new collaborative regional framework that matches surplus food to authorized agencies. The framework consists of a new software application that develops a network of donors and distributors.

The new system does not duplicate the efforts of other Silicon Valley organizations, but rather enhances the mutual work being done by developing a more productive and efficient contact and delivery system.

Why are we doing it?

According to a recent Joint Venture Institute for Regional Studies research brief, “Poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area,” the poverty rate is still near record high for the area despite the tech boom. Hunger and food insecurity affects families (especially children), individuals, seniors and veterans. While living with a roof over their heads, they are still unable to make ends meet. Hunger also hits the homeless in all regional areas, and access to prepared food is critical. In Santa Clara County alone, more than 200,000 people are living below the official poverty line. Poverty in Silicon Valley is in need of a solution.

Our Goal

Through partnerships with Silicon Valley organizations, we can facilitate the development of a new approach to alleviate hunger and poverty in our area.

Our Plan

Joint Venture will support Urban Harvester CEO Linda Hess by facilitating partnerships with Silicon Valley organizations. These partnerships will help provide greater visibility and a broader network to this regional approach. As more people become aware of the systems network, donations and distribution of surplus fresh food will reach those in need more efficiently.

We plan to break new ground with innovative ideas to reduce food waste and improve the quality of life for food-insecure families. Businesses also will benefit with tax-deductible donations and recognition. Our efforts will help non-profit agencies spend their fiscal donations on improving their clients’ future with social services and case management, instead of buying much needed food to meet the increasing demand.

Action plan:

  • We will assemble a team of community and business leaders and build a regional staff.
  • We will use JVSV recent reports to identify the communities most in need of assistance.
  • To begin the selection process, we will visit agencies under consideration and conduct surveys to collect data to understand the needs and challenges of the agency.
  • We will pass the results to our custom-designed software program.
  • We will examine the existing efforts of food donors and agencies to identify any deficiencies.
  • We gather information with our collaborative partners to match donors to nearby compatible agencies.

For more information about Urban Harvester, visit or contact Urban Harvester at .

Joint Venture contact: Michael Marlaire,

Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

What are we doing?

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) envisions a seamless, door-to-door combination of transportation modes—public and private transit, bikeshare, rideshare, carshare, vanpool, taxi, employer commute benefits, electric scooter/bike lease, pay-by-phone parking, future robo-taxis—to reduce private auto usage. A “Mobility Aggregator” gathers all services into a unified smartphone app with easy fare payment, one-stop billing and integrated employer subsidies. MaaS dissolves the boundaries between different transport modes, providing a more customer-centered experience while improving the efficiency of the entire transport system.

Bay Area employers provide a range of customized employee programs to facilitate commuting: transit passes, Wi-Fi motor coach service, last mile shuttle buses from transit, payroll subsidies and more. Our MaaS Project aspires to accelerate software integration between mobility apps and employer programs.

Stanford University has an exemplary commute program. Stanford’s $3.60/day parking charge that funds such incentives as the Marguerite shuttle bus and Caltrain GoPass has reduced single occupancy vehicle (SOV) commuters to 48 percent and has eliminated the need for $107 million in new parking structures.

Working with employers, Joint Venture will undertake various revenue-neutral pricing experiments to accelerate MaaS adoption.

Our goals

  • Make it more convenient for anyone, anywhere, at any time to have a competitive option to driving alone
  • Measurably increase mobility, convenience and productivity
  • Reduce stress, congestion and GHG emissions
  • Make mobility service software more interoperable and better integrated
  • Break down barriers that reduce user convenience

Action Plan

  • Pursue an entrepreneurial, lean startup approach with a series of pilots, technology accelerations and hackathons
  • Explore ways to provide faster, more reliable employee commutes
  • Maintain and expand our regional MaaS partnership with selected cities, agencies and major employers

Why are we doing this?

The Bay Area now has the nation’s second worst traffic, behind only Los Angeles. Finding new ways to reduce Bay Area vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and associated GHG emissions is a regional priority.

Our effort provides a missing puzzle piece that is synergistic with other important efforts:

  • California Transportation Plan 2040 (increase per-mile driving cost by 75 percent, convert all HOV2 to HOV4, double transit ridership and biking, stop highway expansion)
  • Highway 101 Smart Corridor / AB 378 (increase transit, carpooling, ramp metering, and park and ride)
  • VTA technology projects (VTA+ last mile, Subscription Flex line haul, EventTIK payment, 311 VTAlert, HOT app, mobility app, trip planner, hackathons, Innovation Center, and Call for Transport Innovations)
  • Caltrain Commuter Coalition’s initiative to double Caltrain ridership
  • SPUR’s Seamless Public Transit Project (make 24 transit operators appear as 1; rationalize fares; modernize payment, transfers, regional network, traveler information, and marketing)
  • Open data/interoperability efforts by Portland TriMet, Finland Tekes, Rocky Mountain Institute and others

Who’s involved?

In February 2015, Joint Venture’s Climate Prosperity Program formed a MaaS collaboration with the cities of Palo Alto and San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). Palo Alto City Manager James Keene chairs the Climate Prosperity Program. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo co-chairs the Joint Venture board and VTA General Manager Nuria Fernandez is a Joint Venture board member.

What are the latest developments?

  • In February, a Mobility Aggregator software firm committed to developing a compelling mobility app for Silicon Valley pilots. This represents a substantial “in-kind” contribution to our project.
  • We also held our first “MaaS Convening” in February with Joint Venture, Palo Alto, San Jose, VTA, Finland Transport/Innovation Agencies and Stanford. On May 12, our second “MaaS Convening” grew to 45 attendees, including representatives from Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Air Resource team, Apple, Assembly member Kevin Mullin’s office, C/CAG, Contra Costa Transit Authority,, Finland’s MaaS team, Intuit, Lockheed Martin, Lyft, McKinsey, Microsoft, the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose, MTC, RideScout, Rocky Mountain Institute, San Mateo County, SamTrans, SPUR, Stanford, Sustainable Silicon Valley, Transform and VTA.
  • In April, VTA General Manager Nuria Fernandez committed in principle to a MaaS pilot with VTA employees using MaaS software.
  • On May 6, we undertook a collaborative “Design Sprint” to design the ideal mobile app with Joint Venture, a mobility aggregator software firm, Palo Alto and multiple VTA staff.
  • Over four months, we held 55 one-on-one meetings with ecosystem stakeholders: 8 with mobility aggregators (RideScout, MoovIt, and others), 8 with mobility service providers (Lyft, Carma, RidePal, and others), 9 with employers, 7 with NGOs, and 21 with government entities, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Next Steps

  • Provide pilot project management, encompassing: collaborative application design, collaborative commute benefits options design, collaborative employee commute solutions “gap analysis,” focus groups, survey research, decision-ready feasibility analysis, alpha test, beta test, pilot rollout, training, support, performance measurement.
  • Persuade employers to undertake feasibility analyses leading to “go/no go” executive staff decisions on whether to undertake MaaS pilots.
  • Identify barriers to user convenience and develop solutions.
  • Author MaaS white papers.
  • Undertake additional “MaaS Convenings”

Where do I find out more?

To learn more about this initiative, please contact:

Steve Raney
Executive Director, Smart Mobility

Quarterly Status Meeting

CPC/SEEDZ Quarterly Status Meeting

Friday, September 12, 2014
1:00 – 3:30 pm

Materials for Downloading

Meeting Presentation Slides


Commercial Acceleration of Solar Energy in Silicon Valley (CASE-SV)

Workshop 3: Commercial Solar Project Contracting and Procurement

Thursday, October 30, 2014
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: webinar

Materials for Downloading

Presentation slides

Audio recording

Featured Speakers

This webinar will feature Donald Simon, an attorney and partner at Wendel, Rosen, Black, & Dean, the first law firm to be certified a green business. He co-founded the firm’s Green Business Practice Group, and serves as general counsel to California Solar Energy Industry Association, Build It Green, Northern California Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, and Efficiency First. Donald will discuss his experience advising business clients in the Bay Area on renewable energy contracts and related business issues.

This will be followed by an instruction by Ben Foster, Senior VP at Optony, on how to navigate the procurement process, including solar vendor proposal evaluation and contract term negotiation. Ben has extensive experience developing and releasing Requests for Proposals for leading organizations, and negotiating contracts to maximize the financial and energy savings from commercial-scale solar projects.

CASE-SV Initiative

Supported in part by the US Department of Energy, CASE-SV provides no cost, independent support to qualifying energy customers for solar site assessments, education on technical and financing options, streamlined procurement and contractual processes, and opportunities for public recognition. Following the webinar, the CASE-SV team will follow up with registrants to provide individual consultation.

Joint Venture's Response To Climate Change

Joint Venture is actively involved in Silicon Valley's regional response to climate change. We are engaged with dozens of regional and local public and private agencies, municipalities, businesses and other stakeholders in programs and activities designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote sustainable energy and improve the quality of life for all.