The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $29 million in competitive research funds for innovative public transportation projects that will help ensure safe and reliable transit service for riders of America’s public transportation systems.
The grants will help transit agencies strengthen operational safety, better withstand natural disasters and other emergencies, and improve emergency response capabilities.
This is the first time funds available through the FTA’s Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Program have been dedicated to implementing market-ready solutions specifically designed to strengthen safety and improve transit system resiliency.
Funding proposals will be considered in three areas:
- Operational Safety: Projects that develop and demonstrate new or improved technologies, methods and practices that will increase the operational safety of public transportation services. Examples include electronic intrusion detection systems, remote rail monitoring and train undercarriage inspection systems.
- Resiliency: Projects that increase the resilience and robustness of public transportation systems so they can better withstand natural disasters and other externally caused emergencies. Examples include increasing a system’s resistance to corrosion from exposure to saltwater, mitigating the impact of flooding and severe weather, and increasing the ability to withstand extreme temperatures.
- All-Hazards Emergency Response and Recovery: Projects to improve communications with emergency responders and demonstrate promising methods for restoring transit service in the wake of a major disruption. Examples include improving ways to locate and communicate with distressed passengers as well as transit workers, and using transit assets to assist with emergency response and recovery efforts.
The $29 million combines FTA research funds from Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. FTA expects to announce projects selected for funding in 2014.