The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently announced about $20.3 million in grant selections through the Integrated Mobility Innovation (IMI) program. IMI supports projects that use innovative technologies and processes to improve access to public transportation, increase public transportation efficiency, and enhance the overall rider experience. Twenty-five projects in 23 states will receive funding under the program.
“These $20.3 million in federal grants will help communities nationwide enhance their transportation systems to make it easier for people to use transit, especially older adults and people with disabilities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The projects will advance mobility through creative partnerships and emerging technologies. Combining public and private transportation assets and strategies can greatly increase access to mobility for everyone.
“Innovation is integral to the future of transit,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “The IMI program is part of our increased emphasis on innovation that accelerates mobility to provide seamless travel for riders.”
IMI advances FTA’s vision of mobility for all by promoting equitable, accessible, and safe transportation for all Americans. Examples of selected IMI projects include:
- The Central Ohio Transit Authority will receive $1.7 million to develop a platform that combines traffic and transit management data and uses artificial intelligence to improve safety and efficiency, develop new channels of communication, and improve the rider experience across the region.
- Arlington, Texas will receive $1.7 million to integrate autonomous vehicles into its on-demand car-sharing service, which will include a wheelchair accessible vehicle and accommodate University of Texas-Arlington students.
- The Baldwin County (Alabama) Commission will receive approximately $261,000 to replace its outdated 24-hour-advance request transportation system with an on-demand rural transit network tailored to increase access to jobs, schools, and health care appointments. Riders will benefit from integrated trip planning and payment mechanisms, as well as automated routing and scheduling.
FTA issued the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the IMI program in the summer of 2019. In response to the NOFO, FTA received 104 eligible project proposals totaling approximately $107 million.
FTA is making innovation a priority in the year ahead through the Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) initiative announced in January 2020. FTA is collaborating with the transit industry as it works to meet the increasing expectations of transit riders.