Eight communities across Michigan are preparing to implement new transportation projects with the goal of tackling transportation hurdles for seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. The Michigan Department of Transportation announced in June it was looking for projects with innovative solutions to transportation issues. The state received 43 proposals asking for a total of $27 million. On September 28, MDOT announced the eight projects chosen for the challenge.
Jean Ruestman, Administrator for the Office of Passenger Transportation at the Michigan Department of Transportation said collaboration has been key for the high-tech initiatives to get off the ground.
“It’s really about completing a whole network of transportation options, and the only way to do that is to keep in mind the private companies that have developed technologies,” she said. “The public companies that have transit systems, but then also the advocacy groups.”
Grant recipients include: the Huron Mobility Initiative, Flint Mass Transit Authority, the Hope Network, Bedestrian in Ann Arbor, Capital Area Transportation Authority in Lansing, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, Kevadiya Incorporated in Pontiac, and Feonix Mobility Rising in Ann Arbor.
The projects included autonomous trucks to deliver food and retail goods, apps designed to help people with visual impairments find their bus stop, and transportation resources for veterans. MDOT says this is just the first round of the challenge, and it plans to award more grants in the future.