Sinema-Backed Bill Aims to Modernize Arizona Transportation Systems

Mar 17, 2021

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the Moving FIRST Act—bipartisan legislation that aims to modernize Arizona transportation systems by encouraging the use of innovative technology. The legislation 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.
“Expanding the use of innovative technology will modernize Arizona’s transportation systems, create jobs, and expand economic growth,” said Sinema.
The 2015 SMART Cities Challenge was a competitive grant program that received 78 applications from cities around the country—including Scottsdale and Tucson. Sinema’s Moving FIRST Act authorizes and sets aside annual funding for the SMART Cities challenge and allows SMART Challenges applications to be eligible for other Department of Transportation opportunities.
Arizona leads the nation in developing highly automated vehicles and has a number of multi-modal transportation projects in development which could benefit from SMART Cities funding—such as the Tempe Streetcar, Valley Metro Light Rail, and the Tucson Streetcar.
Sinema has long championed Arizona’s vibrant tech sector. Last Congress, Sinema introduced the Fostering Innovation Act, which provides commonsense regulatory relief for companies on the cutting edge of scientific and medical research. Sinema also led the House passage of the Fostering Innovation Act when serving in the U.S. House.