Thursday, April 18, 2024

SporTran Transit Receives Nearly $1 Million in National SMART Grant Funding for Innovative Transit Project

by BIZ Magazine

SporTran Transit, the public transit system serving Shreveport-Bossier City, has been awarded close to $1 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. The announcement, made by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, comes as part of a broader initiative to enhance transportation systems across the nation.

The SporTran EMPOWER (Equitable Mobility, Public Outreach, Workforce Education, and Resilience) project secured $995,400 in funding, making SporTran one of 34 recipients nationwide selected for their innovative approach to transit development. Dinero’ Washington, CEO of SporTran, expressed excitement over the award, highlighting the project’s focus on advancing technology and fostering economic growth in the region.

“We’re thrilled to have been named as one of 34 systems nationwide to receive these funds to innovate transit in our community,” said Dinero’ Washington. “The SporTran EMPOWER Project will focus on developing curriculum and training for AV and EV transit operations in partnership with labor and workforce development partners, and engage community organizations, in anticipation of piloting autonomous, first-and-last-mile microtransit shuttle service.”

The SMART Grants Program, established under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to allocate $500 million over five years to support state, local, and tribal governments in leveraging technology to create safer, more efficient transportation systems. Selected projects encompass locations across 22 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, reflecting a national effort to enhance transportation infrastructure and accessibility.

According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the funding will contribute to the development of innovative solutions for safer, cleaner, and more equitable transportation systems. The SMART Grants Program, now in its second year, received 321 eligible grant applications, underscoring the demand for technology-driven solutions in transportation.

The SporTran EMPOWER Project aligns with the program’s objectives by focusing on advancing smart community technologies and systems to improve transportation efficiency and safety. Through collaboration with industry partners and community organizations, SporTran aims to develop local skills in emerging technology and contribute to new economic pathways for the region.

With the receipt of nearly $1 million in grant funding, SporTran Transit is poised to lead the way in innovative transit solutions, setting a precedent for sustainable and accessible transportation systems nationwide.

For more information on the SMART Grants Program and a full list of award recipients, visit the program website or reach out to [email protected].

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