Columbus Among Cities Nationally Vying in “Smart Cities Challenge”
The City of Columbus is among medium-sized cities from across the
country that has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of
Transportation’s “Smart Cities Challenge.”
The first of its kind competition seeks to create an innovative,
fully-integrated model city that uses data, technology and creativity to shape
how people and goods are transported in the future. If chosen as the winner of the “Smart Cities
Challenge,” Columbus would become the nation’s epicenter of advanced vehicle
and transportation infrastructure research and development.
“Improving access to jobs, the
efficient movement of goods and increased access to services is critical to the
sustained growth and prosperity of the Columbus region,” said Columbus Mayor
Andrew J. Ginther. “Columbus neighborhoods, new Americans, disadvantaged
residents and visitors to the region will all benefit from a smarter, safer and
more accessible community.”
The winning city,
which will be announced in June, will be awarded up to $40 million from the
federal government to implement bold, data-driven ideas that make
transportation safer, easier, and more reliable. Additionally, Paul G.
Allen’s Vulcan Inc., has announced its intent to award up to $10 million to the
challenge winner to support electric vehicle deployment and other carbon
emission reduction strategies, and Mobileye announced that it would outfit the
entire fleet of the winning city's public bus system with its Shield +TM
driver-assistance safety technology.
The City of
Columbus’ application proposes a Smart City Program Office, representing a
partnership between Columbus, Central Ohio Transit Authority, Mid-Ohio Regional
Planning Commission, Ohio Department of Transportation, The Ohio State
University, and private sector partners, which would address community
challenges through five inter-related strategies:
ACCESS TO JOBS. Columbus
has several major employment centers; however, some workers do not have
reasonable access to these jobs.
Columbus proposes an autonomous
vehicle pilot deployment in Easton to provide last mile connectivity from the
Easton Transit Center to area employers, as well as enhanced traveler
information, broadband connectivity, and smart intersections along the new CMAX
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor from Polaris to Downtown.
SMART LOGISTICS. The Rickenbacker Inland Port is a
high-speed international, multimodal logistics hub, has one of the world’s only
cargo-dedicated airports, and boasts the 7th most active foreign trade zone in
the United States. Columbus proposes making accessible real
time traffic condition and routing data in a smartphone app for trucks to the
movement and delivery of freight.
CONNECTED VISITORS. Visitors to
the Columbus Region spend $5.7 billion each year, provide an overall economic
impact of $8.7 billion, and support over 71,000 jobs. Columbus proposes to develop a smartphone app
with Experience Columbus that can be customized to specific events to provide
real-time information related to traffic, parking, and transit options.
CONNECTED CITIZENS. Columbus has select neighborhoods
with mobility challenges that limit citizen access to jobs, health care, and
education services. Columbus proposes to
examine mobility challenges in the Linden neighborhood to further build ladders
of opportunity for residents by increasing
personal transit service offerings (e.g. Uber, Car2Go), and helping
cash-based and/or credit-challenged citizens access these services.
TRANSPORTATION. We will work to
expand the recently completed Smart Grid project to other parts of the city,
expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure, pursue continued conversion of
the Columbus fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG), explore converting more of
the city fleet to electric vehicles (EVs), and investigate additional ways through
incentives or policy changes to encourage more EVs in the city.
application has received broad, bi-partisan support from more than 100 public
agencies, elected officials, suburban communities, non-profits, social
services, economic development entities, and a range of private sector
companies. For more information on the
city’s application, please click here.