Credit Joey Kotfica

Transportation Department awards $54 million to tech transit projects

March 18, 2024

The U.S. The Department of Transportation has awarded over $50 million in grants to 34 technology demonstration projects in 22 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The grants are available through the across the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program, which provides grants for smart-community technologies and systems that improve transportation efficiency and safety.

There are two stages to the SMART Grants Program. Stage 1 grants focus on initial deployment activities, such as planning and prototyping. The recipients will demonstrate technology prototypes, engage communities and build local capacity.

Most of the projects that received funding focused on sensors, drones, automated driver-assistance systems and artificial intelligence-based detection and monitoring systems for local and regional transportation agencies.

Notable projects receiving funds include:

  • $2 million for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s move to upgrade rail-crossing detectors with wireless technology to improve their detection of pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and to reduce unnecessary gate downtime.
  • $2 million to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) for a project to roll out digital wayfinding aids for the public at train stations.
  • $2 million to the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority for sensors and software that will alert the agency to undesirable conditions on the system’s railcars.
  • $2 million to the city of Fort Worth to put sensors to model weather conditions at the Ft. Worth Smart Port, a city-sponsored laboratory where transportation technologies ranging from autonomous cars and trucks to drones and air taxis can be developed and deployed
  • $1.76 million to the Maryland Department of Planning’s Maryland Eastern Shore to provide medical package deliveries to residents on the Eastern Shore and islands in Chesapeake Bay.

Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission

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