Columbus Named as One of the Top Seven in “Smart Cities Challenge”
The City of Columbus has been named one of the top seven
finalists among medium-sized cities from across the country in the U.S.
Department of Transportation’s “Smart Cities Challenge.” The other cities in the top seven are Austin, San Francisco,
Pittsburgh, Denver, Portland and Kansas City.
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.
“As one of fastest growing metropolitan areas in the
Midwest, Columbus is poised to lead the way in the future of transportation,”
said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “As a finalist in the Smart Cities Challenge, we
are excited to refine our proposal for a multi-modal method of moving people
between their jobs, their homes and recreation using innovative technologies
developed by partnerships with some of the best talent in the industry -- that
just happens to be right here in Columbus.”
The seven finalist cities will refine their proposed
projects and programs using $100,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation
that will be made available to each city. The top seven cities will join
Secretary Anthony Foxx in San Diego on March 31 at a Smart City event. Second
round applications are due to the U.S. Department of Transportation in May.
Partners in the Columbus proposal include Battelle, Clean
Fuels Ohio, the IBM Analytics Data Center and The Ohio State University.
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.
About the Columbus Smart Cities Application
The City of Columbus’ application
proposed 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
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.
The Columbus application 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.