January 09, 2020

Cortez Masto Introduces Bill to Promote Smart Transportation to Create Jobs and Combat Climate Change

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today introduced legislation to promote smart transportation solutions like state-of-the-art traffic control centers and on-demand public transportation for hospital and university campuses. The Smart Transportation Advancement and Transition (STAT) Act reforms and reauthorizes the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Intelligent Transportation Advisory Committee and requires the creation of a federal smart transportation resource guide, transportation workforce centers of excellence and grant programs for innovative transportation programs. 

“Smart transportation is the future, and it’s key to combating the climate crisis our planet is facing. As part of my Innovation State Initiative, I’m introducing legislation that will help Nevada communities use technology to address local transportation challenges, keep pedestrians and drivers safe, reduce congestion and create good-paying 21st century jobs. I’ll continue to do all I can in the Senate to ensure Nevada stays at the forefront of the innovation that is moving our country forward.”

BACKGROUND:

The Smart Transportation Advancement and Transition (STAT) Act would:

  • Reauthorize, reform and increase the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Intelligent Transportation Advisory Committee;
  • Require a federal report on USDOT efforts to help local communities increase their smart transportation capabilities and mandate federal research to help communities identify and address barriers to securing a workforce with the necessary and increasingly specialized skills sets;
  • Create a USDOT SMART transportation resource guide;
  • Designate ten career and technical programs as “Centers of Excellence in Advanced Transportation Workforce Training” and create opportunities for apprenticeships within those programs;
  • Provide grant funding for innovative transportation programs. 

In June, Senator Cortez Masto introduced the bipartisan Moving FIRST Act, which creates a competitive grant program for large and medium-sized cities as well as rural communities to seek federal grants for the creation of efficient, creative and innovative transportation projects. She also recently protected the Intelligent Transportation Advisory Committee from elimination in order to ensure the federal government would continue to hear from experts on the ground, and she secured the creation of a Smart Cities Report on efforts by the U.S. Department of Transportation to engage with local communities, metropolitan planning organizations, and regional transportation commissions on advancing data and intelligent transportation systems, technologies and other smart cities solutions.

Since coming to the United States Senate in 2016, Senator Cortez Masto has been an advocate for the responsible use of technology to foster innovation and strengthen Nevada’s, and America’s, economy. During the 115th Congress, Senator Cortez Masto unveiled her Innovation State Initiative, a package of legislative priorities that include funding for SMART Communities, providing for greater broadband access in underserved rural and urban communities, and ensuring that there are guardrails in legislation that provide for the responsible and safe use of technology and that protect workers. 

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