WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded a $2,331,000 Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) grant to the Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) for a study to foster an autonomous shuttle loop in the Downtown Central Business District. This funding will aid Youngstown and WRTA’s efforts to enhance economic development and growth in the Downtown Central Business District by driving innovation and  improving mobility for Ohioans.

“Youngstown and WRTA are using proven strategies to enhance economic development in partnership with the private sector,” said Brown. “This federal investment will help plan the future of Youngstown’s Downtown Central Business District, a future with more development and better transit service for riders.”

In 2018, Brown helped secure a $10,853,192 Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for the Eastgate Regional Council of Government for Youngstown’s SMART2 Corridor project to redevelop critical transportation infrastructure with a new multi-modal network in Youngstown’s downtown and central business district.

The AIM funds are provided by USDOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Brown, who serves as the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee which oversees FTA, championed further investment in the Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning, the source for the grant.  Brown was the lead negotiator for Senate Democrats on the public transportation title of the FAST Act, the multi-year transportation law enacted in 2015 that reauthorized and funded the pilot program.