The Smart City Challenge was announced by U.S. DOT in early December soliciting proposals from cities nationwide to develop next-generation technological innovations that address a variety of transportation challenges. Cities will compete to receive up to $40 million in federal funding for developing 'smart' ideas that will make transportation safer, convenient and more reliable. In addition, the Smart City Challenge encourages cities to develop public-private partnerships to reduce energy use and emissions, and is partnering with Vulcan Philanthropy to provide up to $10 million in additional funding to the winning jurisdiction.
Baltimore City, the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Electric Vehicle Initiative, and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) worked to develop the proposal. The University of Maryland's National Transportation Center led the technical team with contributions from several additional University of Maryland units and from the Johns Hopkins University's Center for Government Excellence. In total, 52 public-sector, private-sector, and nonprofit partners supported the B'Smart proposal including BMC and the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB), the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Baltimore region.
The City of Baltimore and its partners have developed a comprehensive approach toward the goal of "Connecting Communities to Opportunities." At its core are the Smart Community Hubs, where traditional transit services meet smart mobility services, enabled by connected/automated/electric vehicles and the sharing economy, to provide low-cost options to connect users to transit hubs and final destinations. These hubs will also house electric vehicle and smart grid infrastructure, public Internet/Wi-Fi/smartphone portals, next-generation city logistics operations, on-site job training opportunities and additional features that will attract new businesses and spur economic development.
The B'Smart proposal has enabled Baltimore City to create potential partnerships with major electronic corporations and automobile manufactures, as well as smaller startup companies. These partnerships will focus on Intelligent Transportation Systems, automation, connected vehicles, smart infrastructure, urban analytics, electric vehicles, smart grid, freight movement and other innovative elements which are outline in the B'Smart Proposal.
DOT will select five finalists in this nationwide competition on Saturday, March 12, 2016 and is expected to announce the final winner in June 2016.
Check out the full proposal.