A valid form of identification can be the doorway or the roadblock to an individual’s ability to be a self-supporting member of society. In order to get a job, open a bank account, access public services, or rent an apartment, you must present approved forms of ID, such as a driver’s license or state ID. However, if you’d don’t drive a car, live on a limited budget, or have lost supporting forms of identification needed to acquire either a driver’s license or state ID, you might be unable to acquire these IDs. In turn, you can be prevented from doing necessary tasks such as earning a living and keeping a roof over your head.
To overcome these barriers, other cities around the United States have launched municipal ID programs. Municipal IDs are obtained at a lower cost than a driver’s license or state ID with a wider variety of supporting forms of identification. In addition, they often incorporate local assets such as access to public transportation, the library system, etc., making them a resource that any resident would find valuable and worth obtaining.
The City of Pittsburgh wanted to assess if there was a need for a municipal ID program in our city, and if there was, how might the ID be delivered and launched.
In 2015, Shift developed and implemented a research methodology where we interviewed and surveyed residents, stakeholders, and service providers to uncover whether Pittsburgh residents could benefit from a Municipal ID. Shift also gathered data to determine the features that would be most useful for Pittsburgh residents. After determining the need, Shift continued to outline the requirements, technology, and financial costs to implement a Municipal ID program in Pittsburgh. Shift also created a brand identity and developed a communications and outreach strategy that could be used to introduce and launch Pittsburgh’s Municipal ID, Bridge Card to the public.
Six months and more than 100 meetings later, an implementation plan was devised. The plan was presented to the stakeholders and then the Mayor, leaving the Mayor’s Office with the task of finding funding to move forward with the implementation plan.