The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $49.2 million in innovative technology grants to improve mobility and connections for millions of Americans who travel on the US highway and transit systems, according to a press release from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT).
A sum of $45.2 million was awarded in Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grants to 10 projects using advanced intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies that improve mobility and safety, reduce congestion, and support underserved communities.
$4 million was awarded in Enhancing Mobility Innovation (EMI) grants to nine transit agencies and organizations in six states and the District of Columbia to improve access and mobility for transit riders.
“With these grants, the Biden-Harris Administration is helping communities deliver modern transportation systems that connect people to where they want to go more affordably, efficiently, and safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We’re pleased to support these innovative solutions that will improve driving and public transit for Americans in urban, suburban, and rural areas alike.”
“ATCMTD grants promote innovations that help expand access to transportation for communities in rural areas and cities alike, improve connectivity, and prepare America’s transportation systems for the future,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “The program uses advanced technologies and innovation to promote safety for drivers and transit riders and funds projects across the nation that others can learn from as national models.”
The FHWA’s ATCMTD program funds early deployments of technologies that can serve as national models. This year, the grants will fund projects supporting ports, rural transportation, and ferries. ATCMTD was established under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) continues the ATCMTD program from 2022 through 2026 at the same level of funding with a focus on rural transportation, transit, paratransit, and protecting the environment. It also adds several new eligible activities such as advanced transportation technologies to improve emergency evacuation and response by federal, state, and local authorities, integrated corridor management systems, advanced parking reservation or variable pricing systems and technologies that enhance congestion pricing, and automated vehicle communications.
“FTA’s Enhancing Mobility Innovation program provides more tools to improve mobility and make all modes of transit easier to use and more attractive to riders,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. “This funding will help recipients test new innovations with a goal of deploying long-lasting solutions that improve the lives of people in their communities.”
The FTA’s EMI program supports innovations that improve options for how people get around and encourage people to ride transit, such as integrated fare payment systems and apps for on-demand public transportation. By focusing on innovative service delivery approaches, creative financing, and novel partnerships, these grant awards will accelerate the industry’s progress on adapting technology to improve access and on-board experiences.
"The EMI program supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals to increase transit access and promote environmental justice" according to the press release. FTA encouraged proposals that advance the objectives of the Justice40 initiative by investing in innovations that benefit disadvantaged communities. By making transit more accessible for riders, the program also helps meet the Administration’s climate goals.