TransitCenter, a foundation dedicated to improving urban mobility, awarded nine major grants totaling $838,700 to a range of organizations contributing original new work to the field.
TransitCenter announced the competition in May 2015 and received 91 applications from civic organizations, universities, government agencies and firms from across the country. The applicants were ranked on the basis of their potential impact to improve public transportation, originality and applicants' track records, as well as their consistency with TransitCenter's own programming.
Grantees will work with TransitCenter's internal staff to launch these projects in the coming months, with all of them expected to be in full swing by early 2016.
Some of the projects chosen to receive grants include:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.: "Scaling up Co-Creative Planning of Transit Corridors," which will pilot new methods of engaging the public in transportation planning.
- Open Plans, New York, N.Y.: "Streetfilms Series: How Transit Agencies are Addressing Challenges," a set of short films documenting interesting projects and programs at various transit agencies around the country.
- Transportation for America, Washington, D.C.: "State-level Policy Network for Transit Financing," an educational peer-to-peer network for state legislators and state government officials who deal with transportation policy.
- New York University, New York, N.Y.: "Intelligent Paratransit," an effort to improve the information technology, costs and service quality for transit service for the elderly and citizens living with disabilities in New York City.
- State Sustainable Transportation Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.: "New tools for understanding trip-making and accessibility," an applied research project to improve forecasting techniques for transportation services.
Sarah Kaufman, assistant director, technology programming, at New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation called TransitCenter's grant program "an exciting opportunity to put research into practice," adding that the grant to the Rudin Center would "contribute to the mobility of all New Yorkers."
"Selecting these winners was both gratifying and daunting," said Jennifer Elam, grants and operations manager for TransitCenter. "It was tremendous to see so many strong applications from around the country and very energizing for us to be able to select such excellent grantees."