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Sewell announces $1.4 million to improve transportation efficiency, safety

The money is from a SMART Grant funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Congresswoman Terri Sewell embarked on a bus tour of Birmingham's new Xpress Bus Rapid Transit system.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell announced Wednesday that the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham will receive $1,492,204 from the Department of Transportation’s Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program to develop a fully integrated mobility system addressing the longstanding disinvestment in public transportation across Central Alabama. This funding was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is a part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to promote innovative projects that improve transportation efficiency and safety.

“As the only member of Alabama’s Congressional Delegation to vote in favor of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I am thrilled to see the outpouring of critical investments like these coming to our communities,” continued Sewell. “I am even more proud that the SMART Program provides an innovative avenue to revitalize our current transportation system. I applaud Secretary Buttigieg and the entire Biden-Harris Administration for their continued dedication to investing in a sustainable and more equitable future.” 

The program is based on a belief that planning, prototyping, and teambuilding are critical to advancing the state of the practice for data and technology projects in the public sector and is appropriated at $100M annually for fiscal years 2022−2026. To accomplish the objectives identified in BIL, the SMART Grants Program will fund projects that focus on using technology interventions to solve real-world challenges facing communities today. Through creativity and local experimentation, the SMART Program will support a range of approaches:

  • new transportation applications of existing and emerging technologies; 
  • expanded and systematized use of proven technologies; and 
  • deep integration of solutions with existing transportation systems. 

The SMART program is divided into two stages. Stage 1 is the Planning and Prototyping Grants and determines eligible projects for Stage 2 Implementation Grants. During Stage 1, public sector project leaders should build internal buy-in and partnerships with public, private, academic, nonprofit, and community organizations and community networks to refine and prototype their concepts and report on results.

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