Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released two pieces of legislation as part of her Innovation State Initiative designed to promote smart transportation solutions. She introduced the Moving and Fostering Innovation to Revolutionize Smarter Transportation (Moving FIRST) Act with Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to create a competitive grant program to help rural communities and metropolitan areas seek federal grants for the creation of innovative transportation projects and partnerships to address local challenges. She also introduced the Smart Transportation Advancement and Transition (STAT) Act to promote smart transportation solutions, like state-of-the-art traffic control centers and on-demand public transportation for hospital and university campuses, through the reauthorization of a federal advisory committee to hear from experts from around the country. The bill also creates a federal resource guide to help local communities better utilize federal resources to improve their transportation networks.
“Local communities across Nevada are already developing smart transportation solutions to reduce pollution, improve pedestrian safety, help Nevadans get to their workplaces more efficiently, and create good-paying jobs in the transportation sector. These bills as part of my Innovation State Initiative will allow Nevada to continue to lead the way in innovative problem solving by providing local communities with the federal resources they need to continue to address transportation challenges.”
The Moving FIRST Act, first introduced in 2019, would authorize the 2015 Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Cities Challenge program, a competitive grant program once administered by the Department of Transportation. The legislation would set aside funding for communities of varying sizes for the first time. From large (populations ranging from 400,000 to 1 million) and mid-sized (75,000 to 400,000) cities to our rural communities and regional partnerships (populations ranging from 10,000 to 75,000), every community would be able to compete for resources that improve the quality of life of their residents through the use of technology. This grant program directs these communities to find innovative solutions to a variety of challenges faced by communities, through transportation partnerships, including reducing congestion, helping first responders to assist public safety, and improving the environment. Companion legislation in the House of Representatives will be introduced again by Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.).
The Moving FIRST Act has been supported by the Nevada League of Cities, the Nevada Association of Counties, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada Trucking Association, Switch, the Tahoe Transportation District, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), and the Tahoe Prosperity Center, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, Lyft, Uber, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C-TEC), ITS America, the Association of Global Automakers, Honda North America, Inc., the American Trucking Associations, the Railroad Passengers Association, the League of American Bicyclists, the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, the Smart City Council, Venture Smarter, the Smart Regions Initiatives, the Center for Data Innovation, Panasonic Corporation of North America, GPS Innovation Alliance (GPSIA), Wi-fiber, Waycare, Qualcomm, CompTIA, Security Industry Association (SIA), CTIA, Verizon, Sprint, Geotab, Hotwire Communications, Small UAV Coalition, the Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and The Electrification Coalition.
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. It would also 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.