Columbus, OH has risen above six other finalist cities to be named the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Smart City Challenge. As winner of the competition, Columbus secured $40 million from DOT and $10 million from Vulcan Inc. to develop a first-of-its-kind transportation network. A local investment of $90 million has been pledged to match the $50 million award, resulting in $140 million of new investment to change the mobility landscape of Columbus.
“This funding is a game changer for the City of Columbus and central Ohio,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “I’m glad the Department of Transportation recognized what so many of us already know – Columbus is a smart city that deserves to win this challenge.
“Columbus’ skilled and diverse workforce, state-of-the-art research institutions, and strong-public-private partnerships will help this project succeed,” Brown continued. “I look forward to working with local leaders and community members to realize the vision of a first-of-its-kind transportation service that increases access to jobs, links neighborhoods, and improves real-time information in a sustainable, safe way.”
This investment will not only link neighborhoods and improve mobility for residents, it will also encourage additional growth and provide an environment for new and existing technology companies to locate in Columbus.
In December 2015, DOT announced the Smart City Challenge, a competition designed to help one city develop a fully-integrated transportation network using data and technology to connect communities and move people and goods more efficiently. The City of Columbus partnered with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Columbus 2020, Experience Columbus, and local stakeholders to submit an application to DOT earlier this year. Through Columbus’ new Smart City Program Office, additional partners, including the Ohio State University, Battelle, IBM and Clean Fuels Ohio, will assist the city with achieving its Smart City vision.
In addition to the $50 million award, Columbus will also have access to technical support and expertise from private sector partners, including Vulcan Inc., NXP, Autodesk, and Mobileye to help execute its Smart City Plan.
The other finalists in the competition were Austin, TX; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; and San Francisco, CA.
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