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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Columbus Named Smart City Challenge Winner

Jun 23, 2016
Press Release

Columbus Named Smart City Challenge Winner

Department of Transportation pledges millions in federal funds to create nation’s first “Smart City”

COLUMBUS, OH. – On June 23, 2016, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced the City of Columbus was chosen as the winner of the nationwide Smart City Challenge. Powered by the Department of Transportation’s pledge of up to $40 million in federal funds, Columbus will leverage grant monies to create the nation’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies like self-driving and/or Internet-connected automobiles into the city’s transportation network.

U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) was pleased to be joined by fellow Central Ohio Representatives, Congressman Pat Tiberi (OH-12) and Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15), in helping to advance Columbus’ application at the federal level. Beatty, Tiberi and Stivers, whose districts collectively encompass the entire City of Columbus, issued the following statements in the wake of Thursday’s major announcement:

“I am thrilled the Department of Transportation has selected Columbus as the winner of the Smart City Challenge,” Beatty said. “I am pleased to have played a major role, along with Mayor Ginther—whose leadership has been incredible—and numerous city partners, in showcasing our city’s commitment to building a first-of-its-kind transportation system that will create numerous jobs and connect neighborhoods all across Central Ohio.” Beatty continued, “I look forward to continuing our collective work with the city as they implement their vision. Today is a historic day for the City of Columbus, and illustrates the power of leveraging private-public partnerships, in a bipartisan fashion, to ensure Central Ohio is a national leader in creating and harnessing the power of innovative transportation technology.”

“I applaud Mayor Ginther and the entire city of Columbus on winning the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge,” Tiberi said. “This is a wonderful achievement and certainly, well deserved. I am proud of everyone who came together to get the job done and I look forward to seeing our great city lead the way in developing new and bold solutions to kick start transportation innovation nationwide. Again, congratulations Columbus. We are indeed a smart city.”

“C-bus, C-bike, C-self-driving cars–anyway you cut it, the City of Columbus has positioned itself to be a leader in next generation transportation,” Stivers said. “I look forward to working with the Department of Transportation, the city and the private sector to maximize and leverage this grant award for the benefit of all who live here, as well as for the other communities that will draw from our innovative ideas.”

In addition to a $40 million pledge from the Department of Transportation, the city has secured a $10 million commitment from Seattle-based Vulcan, Inc. and another $90 million from Central Ohio businesses and public organizations. Columbus beat out six other cities from across the nation to claim the top prize in the Smart City Challenge including: San Francisco, CA; Denver, CO; Kansas City, MO; Portland, OR; Pittsburgh, PA; and Austin, TX. In total, 78 cities initially applied for the Smart City Challenge grant, with finalists making their final pitch at a June 7th event in Washington, D.C. 

For more information on the Smart City Challenge, please visit the Department of Transportation’s website.