Columbus wins $40 million Smart City Challenge

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As part of winning the US Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, Columbus will be awarded more than $50 million to reshape its transportation system.

According to the US Department of Transportation, Columbus will receive $40 million for the Smart City Challenge and an extra $10 million from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc.

The money will supplement the $90 million Columbus has already raised from other private partners to carry out future transportation plans.

Columbus will work to reshape its transportation system to become part of a fully-integrated city that harnesses the power and potential of data, technology, and creativity to reimagine how people and goods move throughout the city, according to officials.

“We are thrilled to be America’s first Smart City. Our collaboration between public, private and nonprofit sectors is the perfect example of how we lift up our residents and connect all communities,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther. “Smart Columbus will deliver an unprecedented multimodal transportation system that will not only benefit the people of central Ohio, but potentially all mid-sized cities. I am grateful to President Obama, Secretary Foxx, the U.S. Department of Transportation, all of our partners and especially the Smart Columbus team.”

According to the US DOT, Columbus was selected as the winner because it put forward an impressive, holistic vision for how technology can help all of the city’s residents to move more easily and to access opportunity. The city proposed to deploy three electric self-driving shuttles to link a new bus rapid transit center to a retail district, connecting more residents to jobs. Columbus also plans to use data analytics to improve health care access in a neighborhood that currently has an infant mortality rate four times that of the national average, allowing them to provide improved transportation options to those most in need of prenatal care.

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