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DOT Smart City Challenge

Smart City Challenge to Award $50M to Transportation System of the Future

DOT Smart City ChallengeThe US Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a Smart City Challenge to find the transportation system of the future.

The winning city will be awarded up to $40 million from the DOT to implement data-driven ideas to make transportation safer, easier, more reliable and more climate and environmentally friendly. Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan has announced its intent to award up to $10 million to the winner as well. The winning city will need to work with Vulcan to secure this funding. DOT funding is subject to future appropriations.

Lessons learned from this competition will be used in other cities to improve networks nationwide and demonstrate a practical path to replacing carbon-based fuel consumption.

To participate in the challenge, cities must submit a high-level description of their vision of a Smart City by February 4, 2016, consistent with the Notice of Funding Opportunity. The DOT will announce five finalists in March 2016, who will then compete for up to $40 million to be awarded to one city in June 2016.

The ideal Smart City Challenge candidate is a mid-sized city with a population between approximately 200,000 and 850,000 people within city limits as of the 2010 Census. Other desirable attributes include the following:

  • A population density typical of a mid-sized city using 2010 Census data.
  • Represents more than 15 percent of the overall population of its urban area using 2010 Census data.
  • Cities with an established public transportation system;
  • Cities with an environment that is conducive to demonstrating proposed strategies.
  • Leadership and capacity to carry out the demonstration throughout the period of performance.

The DOT said it also welcomes the participation of other entities who share the vision and goals in the funding announcement.

Applicants should submit ideas designed to address or enhance community needs across a range of innovation and data-driven platforms. Critical system improvements that increase safety, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance mobility are especially encouraged.

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