The Federal Transit Administration opened up an opportunity to apply for $15 million in research funds on May 8 through its new Integrated Mobility Innovation demonstration program.
The agency is splitting that funding between three facets of the IMI program, it noted in a statement:
- Mobility on Demand or MOD gets $8 million. Building on what FTA termed its “successful” initial round of MOD projects, this new funding aims to help deploy new tools and service models, such as mobile applications or on-demand microtransit, that make transit more convenient and accessible. Focus areas include projects that provide first-mile/last-mile connections to transit hubs; improve mobility for those with limited transportation choices; and involve targeted, reproducible approaches to data sharing and collection.
- Strategic Transit Automation Research or STAR gets $5 million. FTA developed its five-year STAR planto explore the use of vehicle automation technologies in bus transit operation, such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems or ADAS technology for transit buses and automated shuttles.
- Mobility Payment Integration or MPI gets $2 million. The agency said this research area developed from its “recognition” of how payment integration can allow seamless trip planning among a range of public and private operators that enhances regional mobility options.
FTA said providers of public transportation, including public transportation agencies, state/local government departments of transportation, and federally-recognized Indian tribes, are all eligible to apply for this research funding and will be selected based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, including the project’s potential impact, innovativeness, and transferability to other communities.
Applications will be accepted until August 6 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, the agency added.