Rep. Craig Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Boost Columbus' Smart Cities Challenge Bid
Federal grant program winner to receive $40 million for transportation innovations

State Reps. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to urge the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to select the city of Columbus as the award winner of Smart Cities Challenge.

Columbus was recently named one of seven finalists for the competition from an original pool of 78 applicants, along with the cities of Austin, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Denver, Portland and Kansas City.

“In today’s competitive global economy, it is more important than ever to create efficient and innovative transportation networks that connect residents, visitors, and businesses with where they need to go, when they need to get there,” said Craig. “Columbus has a tremendous opportunity to lead the nation toward new frontiers in transportation systems that will connect residents with jobs and boost the local economy.”  

In order to win the Smart Cities Challenge, a city must demonstrate how advanced data and intelligent transportation system technologies and applications can be used to reduce congestion, keep travelers safe, protect the environment, connect underserved communities and support the economic vitality of the region. 

The winning city will be awarded a $40 million grant from OSDOT to implement a creative, data-driven plan to make transportation safer, easier and more reliable. The winner may also receive an additional $10 million grant from USDOT’s electric vehicle vendor, Paul Allen’s Vulcan, in addition to tens of millions of dollars of in-kind contributions from Alphabet’s sidewalk Labs, Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, MobileEye, and NXP.

The top seven cities will join USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx in San Diego on March 31 at a Smart City event, and the competition winner will be announced in June.

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