WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today introduced the bipartisan Moving FIRST Act, which enhances and modernizes the transportation systems of American cities by encouraging the use of innovative technology. The bill builds on the successes of the 2015 SMART Cities Challenge administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation by expanding the opportunity for more communities – both urban and rural – to compete for resources that will fund efficient, creative, and innovative transportation projects.
“By encouraging greater innovation we are creating jobs in Arizona, improving our transportation system, and driving economic growth,” said Sinema.
The 2015 SMART Cities Challenge was a competitive grant program that received 78 applications from cities around the country. Mid-sized cities were asked to submit applications that would implement first-of-its-kind smart transportation systems. Cities, of varying size, from across the nation submitted their proposals, and in the end, Columbus, Ohio won a $40 million grant to implement their plan.
To ensure all American communities are planning for the future, the Moving FIRST Act authorizes the program and sets aside funding for communities of varying sizes. From large (populations ranging from 400,000 to 1 million) and mid-sized (75,000 to 400,000) cities to rural communities and regional partnerships (populations ranging from 10,000 to 75,000), every corner of the country is able to compete for resources that improve the quality of life of their residents. In addition, the legislation will make applicants eligible for additional federal funding opportunities to advance their innovative projects.
Sinema has long championed Arizona’s vibrant tech sector. This year, Sinema introduced the Fostering Innovation Act in the Senate, which provides commonsense regulatory relief for companies on the cutting edge of scientific and medical research. Sinema also led the passage of the Fostering Innovation Act in the U.S. House.