COLUMBUS, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded the City of Columbus and its local partners for winning the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Smart City Challenge. Brown – who serves as ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which oversees funding for DOT – worked closely with the city, central Ohio businesses, and community leaders to advocate for the city’s proposal that will link neighborhoods and improve transportation access for workers and families in and around Columbus.
“Columbus won the Smart City Challenge because of Mayor Ginther’s leadership and because the central Ohio community united to develop innovative solutions to address community challenges,” Brown said. “This award will allow the city to utilize first-of-its kind technology to link neighborhoods, improve access to jobs, and connect residents to health care services – making Columbus a great place to live and work for all its residents. That’s what becoming a Smart City is about – harnessing technology to ensure our transportation system benefits everyone. I look forward to working with the city, local officials, business leaders, and community members to make Columbus America’s first Smart City.”
Seventy-eight cities from across the nation submitted applications to DOT for the Smart City Challenge and, in March, DOT selected seven semifinalists to compete for today’s award. As winner of the competition, Columbus secured $40 million from DOT and $10 million from Vulcan Inc. to develop a first-of-its-kind transportation network. A local investment of $90 million has been pledged to match the $50 million award, resulting in $140 million of new investment to change the mobility landscape of Columbus. In addition to the funding, the winning city will also have access to technical support and expertise from private sector partners, including Vulcan Inc., NXP, Autodesk, and Mobileye to help execute the Smart City Plan.
Brown has been a strong supporter of Columbus’ bid for the challenge. In May, Brown joined local leaders during a meeting with DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx in Columbus. He also urged DOT to select the City of Columbus as the winner of the challenge and has worked to highlight Columbus’ innovative application as the Smart City competition has progressed.
The City of Columbus partnered with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Columbus Partnership, Columbus 2020, Experience Columbus, and local stakeholders to submit an application to DOT earlier this year. Through Columbus’ new Smart City Program Office, additional partners, including the Ohio State University, Battelle, IBM, AEP, Honda, Nationwide, and Clean Fuels Ohio, will assist the City with achieving its Smart City vision.
In December 2015, DOT announced the Smart City Challenge, a competition designed to help one city develop a fully-integrated transportation network using data and technology to connect communities and move people and goods more efficiently. More information about the challenge is available here.