“The START Act will provide communities of all sizes with the resources they need to accelerate the smart city movement to the benefit of their citizens. US Ignite is happy to endorse the START Act and thanks Representative Clarke for her support of smart city technologies.”

Nick Maynard, CEO, US Ignite

The Smart Technologies for Accessible and Resilient Transportation (START) Act was introduced in the House of Representatives on September 2, 2021, by Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09). The START Act aims to revive and expand the Obama Administration’s Smart Cities Challenge. The Department of Transportation and other federal agencies would be responsible for designing and executing a new Smart Cities Challenge that would award major grants to communities implementing smart transportation proposals. 

Communities across the US are in great need to reshape their local transportation systems. The START Act would help to spark the widespread adoption of innovative and modernized solutions that leverage technology. It is equally important to highlight that equity is also at the forefront of the START Act.  

“My legislation will provide unprecedented funding assistance to diverse, underprivileged communities which will translate into lives saved, fewer crime incidents, shorter commutes, a reduced health burden, and carbon emissions averted,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “More, the START Act will ensure the federal government’s role in supporting our Smart City efforts as we ready for the challenges of the coming decades.”  

The grants awarded via the Smart Cities Challenge would be offered on an annual basis. In addition to implementing smart transportation proposals, communities would need to demonstrate how advanced technologies can help improve safety, optimize mobility, and address climate change. Smaller grants would also be available to communities interested in researching and planning how they may benefit from smart transportation. 

The START Act would also create federal Smart Community Resource Centers. Acting as a database and clearinghouse on Smart City transportation efforts, these centers would be able to give any interested community information and documentation of the existing best practices regarding smart city transportation. 

The introduction of the START Act is a positive step in the Smart City movement. Providing incentives to communities ensures that smart transportation solutions are prioritized and implemented. Centralizing the collection of best practices, moreover, enables efficient information sharing and ensures progress. US Ignite fully supports the START Act and will continue to monitor its advancement. 

Click here to read the white paper “Smart Cities Technologies: Driving Economic Growth and Community Resilience.

Click here to read the START Act.