New round of grants for transit tech solutions – Cities Today

New round of grants for transit tech solutions – Cities Today

15 May 2024

by Jonathan Andrews

A new round of funding for US cities will be released to advance technologies and improve transport safety.

This is the third cycle of grants to be offered by the five-year US$500-million Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Programme, run by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT).

In the first two rounds, the department selected 93 projects in 39 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, totalling US$148 million.

“The SMART Grant programme has helped communities, states, and tribes across America deploy new kinds of transportation technology solutions to improve safety and resilience,” said Pete Buttigieg (pictured), US Transportation Secretary. “As the programme enters its third year of funding, we’re excited for even more communities to get funding and support to develop technological solutions to their most pressing transportation challenges.”

The funding opportunity is open to public sector entities seeking to carry out transit projects that demonstrate at least one of the following technology areas:

  • Coordinated automation
  • Connected vehicles
  • Sensors
  • Systems integration
  • Delivery/logistics
  • Innovative aviation
  • Smart grid
  • Traffic signals.

“From Alaska to Maine to Puerto Rico, the SMART programme has supported locally driven solutions across the country to make communities safer for all users and more connected and accessible,” said Dr Robert Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Scientist at USDOT. “The popularity of this programme demonstrates the demand for purpose-driven technology solutions, and we are excited to open the opportunity for another round of applications.”

Past cities that have won the maximum US$2 million per project, include Philadelphia which has improved its digital Right-of-Way (ROW) by digitising street, sidewalk and kerbside space and developing an online application to communicate ROW information to users.

Detroit has used sensors to create smart intersections by using existing traffic cameras to deploy artificial intelligence software to “predict and prevent traffic accidents” in the city.

And the funding has helped Los Angeles integrate transit trip planning with event ticketing for major activities, including the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Applications are now open and must be submitted by Friday July 12th, 2024.

Image: Laurence Agron |

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