The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the availability of $11 million in funding to support and advance innovation in the transit industry. The competitive grant funds are provided through the Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) initiative.
“As we enter the next decade, we need to focus on the importance of innovation and meeting the expectations of our riders,” said FTA Acting Administrator, Jane Williams. “We have made innovation the centre of our mission to improve public transportation across America’s communities.”
The AIM challenge grants are part of FTA’s ongoing effort to drive innovative transit technologies and practices that encourage travellers to choose public transportation, promote economic development in communities, and enhance mobility for all.
The AIM challenge grants aim to help transit agencies explore new service models that provide more efficient and frequent service, which will help retain riders. As a funding partner, FTA will reportedly help alleviate the potential risks involved in adopting new technologies and practices.
Eligible applicants under the NOFO are providers of public transportation, including public transportation agencies, state and local Departments of Transportation, and federally recognised Indian tribes. To better address the needs of rural America, which has historically been neglected, FTA intends to award 50 per cent of AIM grant funding to projects located in rural areas that deliver positive benefits for these communities, consistent with the Department’s R.O.U.T.E.S. initiative. Applicants are encouraged to partner with other entities.
The initiative also will establish a national network of transit agency incubators that will test and share project results and use FTA’s technical assistance centres to promote promising innovations to transit agencies and organisations in urban and rural areas across America.
This announcement comes soon after the FTA also announced that 25 projects in 23 states across the U.S. will receive part of $20.3 million in funding to improve public transport accessibility, efficiency and rider experience.
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