As the sole winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Smart Cities Challenge, Columbus was awarded more than funding and designation as America’s Smart City; but more importantly the coveted job of a global teacher for cities around the world on how to “become Smart” by embracing the reinvention of transportation to accelerate human progress. Columbus received a total of $50 million in the form of two grants, $40 million from USDOT and $10 million from Vulcan, Inc., a Paul Allen company. These dollars provide the seed funding for Smart Columbus, a region-wide Smart City initiative co-led by the City of Columbus and Columbus Partnership. The City of Columbus, under the leadership of Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, is the lead recipient of the $50 million and will administer the deployment of these funds for the duration of the grant period, which concludes at the end of 2020.
The Columbus Partnership, representing the Columbus Region’s private sector, is the lead implementation partner for the grant program and is responsible for the initiative’s Acceleration Fund, which is credited as a significant factor in Columbus’ winning of the challenge. The Acceleration Fund, which started out as $90 million now totals more than $360 million and is composed of coordinated and aligned investments by the private and public sector to compliment, scale, and sustain Smart Columbus projects and programs.
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