The Federal Transit Administration recently issued a notice of funding opportunity for $2 million worth of competitive grants to support projects that improve experience and mobility for transit riders. Applications are due by January 11, 2022, the agency said.
[Above photo by the Maryland Transit Administration]
FTA’s Enhancing Mobility Innovation Program supports innovations that encourage people to get on board, such as integrated fare payment systems and user-friendly software for on-demand public transportation.
That program also supports President Biden’s goal of increasing transit access for underserved communities while promoting “environmental justice,” the agency said.
FTA also plans to “encourage” proposals that advance the objectives of the administration’s Justice40 initiative, providing investments that benefit disadvantaged communities. In addition, by making transit more attractive for riders, the program also helps meet the administration’s climate goals, which includes reducing economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
By focusing on innovative service delivery approaches, creative financing, and novel partnerships, FTA said the program’s grants should help accelerate the transit industry’s progress on adapting technology to improve access and on-board experiences.
“The Enhancing Mobility Innovation program supports transit agencies as they work to improve mobility, with a focus on how innovation can help improve service delivery and make buses, trains and ferries easier to use and more attractive to riders,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez in a statement.
“We are providing the seed money to help transit agencies test new innovations with a goal of deploying long-lasting solutions that create opportunities for people in their communities,” she added.
For software development projects, the NOFO seeks cross-modal, adaptable platforms for demand-response transit service dispatched through riders’ mobile devices or other advanced means.
As part of the evaluation process, FTA will consider the extent to which projects will provide air quality benefits, particularly in areas with poor air quality, as well as how they will help promote racial equity and increase access to opportunity in underserved communities.