Monday, February 15, 2016

Spokane Competing for $50M in Transportation Competition

Spokane and Seattle are the only two Washington cities to submit bids for millions of dollars to upgrade their transportation systems with new technology, according to the Spokesman-Review.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will award up to $40 million to a city or region that demonstrates they have a plan to use ideas based on data and advanced technologies to reduce congestion, improve transportation safety, protect the environment, deal with climate change, connect under-served communities and support economic vitality.

Spokane’s application builds on work already being done in the University District by a number of parterns, including the city, Avista, Itron, McKinstry and Washington State University. Spokane’s application proposes electrifying the transit system, build over 600 vehicle-charging stations throughout the city, and enhance the Spokane Transit Authority’s Central City Line that would run between Browne’s Addition and Spokane Community College.

The challenge is part of a nationwide effort to spur innovation.

The Transportation Department grant will be matched with $10 million from Vulcan Inc., a company owned by Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and Seattle resident.

Five finalists will be named next month and awarded $100,000 to develop more detailed applications. The winner will be named in June.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.