U.S. DOT awards $65 M connected car & new mobility grants to 16 municipalities

roadwaytraffic-332857_640The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it  awarded $65 million in grants that will fund 19 technology-driven projects in local areas to fight congestion, increase connectivity and improve access to opportunity.

The Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) program is run by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).The $56.6 million ATCMTD program’s grants are designed to help communities use technology to enhance mobility and expand access to opportunity.

Communities receiving ATCMTD grants are:

  • Pittsburgh, PA, will receive nearly $11 million to execute elements of the vision it developed in its Smart City Challenge application, including deployment of smart traffic signal technology – proven to reduce congestion at street lights by up to forty percent – along major travel corridors.
  • Denver, CO, will also receive approximately $6 million to help to alleviate the congestion caused by a daily influx of 200,000 commuters each workday through connected vehicles.
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, California will recieve $3,000,00 for a large-scale deployment of the Freight Advanced Traveler Information System (FRATIS) Project using automated optimized dispatching and traffic signal- vehicle speed coordination to reduce truck congestion and fuel usage.
  • The City of Los Angeles, will receive $3 million for implementation of connected vehicle technologies to allow the signal system to detect red light-violating vehicles and adjust timing, and personal wireless devices to prioritize pedestrian travel and safety at intersections.
  • Marysville, Ohio will deploy corridor-focused connected vehicle applications in a mixture of rural and suburban environments across multiple communities to improve access to large employment sites and economic development through a grand of close to $6 million.
  • Connected vehicle applications using multiple communications technologies to alert truckers of border wait times and available parking to reduce congestion in the Buffalo-Niagara area will be funded with $7.813 million dollars.
  • In San Francisco, a grant of $10.99 million will be used for connected dynamic tolling for the Bay Bridge combined with incentive efforts for HOV and transit use, such as dynamic carpool/rideshare pick-up curbs and connected vehicle transit priority to reduce congestion.
  • In Houston Texas, a program of $8.939 million expands person-trip capacity by seamlessly providing a broad range of innovative mobility options to commuters leveraging technologies such as shared-use ebikes, social carpooling including ridesharing services, and unified payment across transit and other shared-use services.

The $8 million MOD Sandbox Program is part of a larger research effort at U.S. DOT that supports transit agencies and communities as they integrate new mobility tools like smart phone apps, bike- and car-sharing, and demand-responsive bus and van services. MOD projects help make transportation systems more efficient and accessible, particularly for people who lack access to a car.

Examples of MOD Sandbox grants include:

  • TriMet, which serves Portland, OR, will receive funds to integrate shared-use mobility options into its existing trip planning app, allowing users to plan efficient trips even without nearby transit access.
  • The Vermont Agency of Transportation will receive $480,000 for a statewide transit trip planner that will incorporate flexible-route, hail-a-ride, and other services in mobility apps. The online trip planner particularly benefits non-traditional rural transit users and people with disabilities, allowing universal access to transit information.
  • In Dallas, TX, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will receive $1.2 million to integrate ride-sharing services into its GoPass ticketing app. The project will create an integrated, multimodal application that leverages ride-sharing services, improving access to DART stations, particularly in non-walkable areas not well served by transit.

Other cities receiving grants are LA Metro, San Francisco Bay Area Transit, Pinellas Suncoast Transit, Chicago Transit, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and Pierece Transit.

The Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox program is overseen by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

In total, the grants will be leveraged to bring close to $170 million in public and private investments to deploy smart city technologies in both large and small local communities across the nation. These grants build on U.S. DOT’s successful Smart City Challenge, which inspired cities, federal agencies, universities, and the private sector to work together to harness new technologies.