Smart City

Smart City Sentinel

Smart Cities Challenge Gets Proposed Re-START

By Maurice Nagle

Technological advancement is political party agnostic. Innovation isn’t republican nor democrat, it is American. In 2015, the Department of Transportation launched the Smart Cities Challenge, and now Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) is introducing legislation to renew and expand the opportunity at hand.

At its core, the START (Smart Technologies for Accessible and Resilient Transportation) Act is intended to offer financial assistance to local governments in deploying transportation solution to enhance equity, data security and access while cutting costs, carbon emissions and traffic congestion.

Funds a key piece of the legislation, but beyond cold hard cash, the START act provides a resource center to assist in developing smart city and intelligent transportation programs through education on best practice.  

While the 2015 challenge was effective in garnering interest in smart transportation solutions, and resulted in Columbus, Ohio winning the contest and earning over $50 million in funding from public and private parties, the sky’s the limit for Clarke’s reinvigorated challenge offering grants of $5million to $40million with $250 million cap from 2022 through 2025.

“My legislation will provide unprecedented funding assistance to diverse, underprivileged communities which will translate into lives saved, fewer crime incidents, shorter commutes, a reduced health burden, and carbon emissions averted,” Clarke said. “Moreover, the START Act will ensure the federal government’s role in supporting our Smart City efforts as we ready for the challenges of the coming decades.”

Nonprofits, transit agencies, as well as state and local governments are eligible to apply for a START Act grant.

Is your city a Smart City?




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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