Columbus Named as One of the Top Seven in "Smart Cities Challenge"

Columbus Named as One of the Top Seven in "Smart Cities Challenge"

Innova EV is delighted to serve as a partner to the City of Columbus as they compete in the second round of the United States Department of Transportation Smart City Challenge. Columbus was named in March 2016 as one of seven finalists from 78 applications.

The press release issued by the City of Columbus is re-published below. The original press release may be found at the city’s website.

For Immediate Release

Robin Davis, Office of the Mayor,
News Date: March 12, 2016


The City of Columbus has been named one of the top seven finalists among medium-sized cities from across the country in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Smart Cities Challenge.” The other cities in the top seven are Austin, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Denver, Portland and Kansas City.

The first of its kind competition seeks to create an innovative, fully-integrated model city that uses data, technology and creativity to shape how people and goods are transported in the future. If chosen as the winner of the “Smart Cities Challenge,” Columbus would become the nation’s epicenter of advanced vehicle and transportation infrastructure research and development.

“As one of fastest growing metropolitan areas in the Midwest, Columbus is poised to lead the way in the future of transportation,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “As a finalist in the Smart Cities Challenge, we are excited to refine our proposal for a multi-modal method of moving people between their jobs, their homes and recreation using innovative technologies developed by partnerships with some of the best talent in the industry -- that just happens to be right here in Columbus.”

The seven finalist cities will refine their proposed projects and programs using $100,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation that will be made available to each city. The top seven cities will join Secretary Anthony Foxx in San Diego on March 31 at a Smart City event. Second round applications are due to the U.S. Department of Transportation in May.

Partners in the Columbus proposal include Battelle, Clean Fuels Ohio, the IBM Analytics Data Center and The Ohio State University.

The winning city, which will be announced in June, will be awarded up to $40 million from the federal government to implement bold, data-driven ideas that make transportation safer, easier and more reliable.

About the Columbus Smart Cities Application

The City of Columbus’ application proposed a Smart City Program Office, representing a partnership between Columbus, Central Ohio Transit Authority, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Ohio Department of Transportation, The Ohio State University and private sector partners, which would address community challenges through five inter-related strategies:

1) ACCESS TO JOBS. Columbus has several major employment centers; however, some workers do not have reasonable access to these jobs. Columbus proposes an autonomous vehicle pilot deployment in Easton to provide last mile connectivity from the Easton Transit Center to area employers, as well as enhanced traveler information, broadband connectivity, and smart intersections along the new CMAX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor from Polaris to Downtown.

2) SMART LOGISTICS. The Rickenbacker Inland Port is a high-speed international, multimodal logistics hub, has one of the world’s only cargo-dedicated airports, and boasts the 7th most active foreign trade zone in the United States. Columbus proposes making accessible real time traffic condition and routing data in a smartphone app for trucks to the movement and delivery of freight.

3) CONNECTED VISITORS. Visitors to the Columbus Region spend $5.7 billion each year, provide an overall economic impact of $8.7 billion, and support over 71,000 jobs. Columbus proposes to develop a smartphone app with Experience Columbus that can be customized to specific events to provide real-time information related to traffic, parking, and transit options.

4) CONNECTED CITIZENS. Columbus has select neighborhoods with mobility challenges that limit citizen access to jobs, health care, and education services. Columbus proposes to examine mobility challenges in the Linden neighborhood to further build ladders of opportunity for residents by increasing personal transit service offerings (e.g. Uber, Car2Go), and helping cash-based and/or credit-challenged citizens access these services.

5) SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION. We will work to expand the recently completed Smart Grid project to other parts of the city, expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure, pursue continued conversion of the Columbus fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG), explore converting more of the city fleet to electric vehicles (EVs), and investigate additional ways through incentives or policy changes to encourage more EVs in the city.

The Columbus application received broad, bi-partisan support from more than 100 public agencies, elected officials, suburban communities, non-profits, social services, economic development entities, and a range of private sector companies.

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