State Smart City Challenge Grant Program

Summary

The Information Age has disrupted many aspects of life—from the way to communicate to the way we request transportation—and cities should be no exception. Cities have a great opportunity to integrate technology and the next generation of communications technologies as so-called “Smart Cities.” Smart Cities will make governments more efficient, more accountable, safer, and lead to higher qualities of life for their residents. This model policy would create a State Smart City Challenge Grant Program within the state Department of Transportation for the purpose of providing opportunities to develop innovative smart mobility solutions to local transportation and security challenges.

State Smart City Challenge Grant Program

State Smart City Challenge Grant Program

A bill to be entitled

An act relating to the State Smart City Challenge Grant Program;

defining the terms “Secretary,” “data,” “smart city or community,” “smart city technologies and systems,”  “security solutions,” “matching funds,”; creating the program within the Department of Transportation; providing program goals; providing grant eligibility requirements; requiring the department to issue a request for proposals; providing proposal requirements; providing requirements for the award of grants and the use of grant funds; providing reporting requirements; requiring administrative support by the department; authorizing the department to select an independent nongovernmental entity to perform certain functions; providing selection requirements; providing an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of [____]:

Section 1.            [Section State Code], is created to read:

State Smart City Challenge Grant Program. —

(1)  DEFINITIONS. —As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Transportation.

(b) “data” includes information and images.

(c) “smart city or community” means a community in which innovated, advanced, secure, and reliable information and communication technologies and related mechanisms are applied –

  1. To improve the quality of life for residents;
  2. To reduce resource consumption by increasing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of civic operations and services;
  3. To promote economic growth;
  4. To augment public safety technology tools to provide for a safer community; and
  5. To create a community that is safer and more secure, sustainable, resilient, livable, and workable.

(d) “smart city technology” means technology and systems that gather and incorporate data from systems, devices, and sensors embedded in civic systems and infrastructure to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of civic operations by –

  1. Aggregating and analyzing collected data
  2. Communicating the analysis and data in a variety of forms
  3. Corresponding improvements to civic systems and services based on gathered data; and
  4. Providing innovative services in multiple modes of transport and traffic management to enable users to be safer, better coordinated and connected, and better informed.
  5. Integrating measures –
  6. To protect private data of residents; and
  7. To measure the impact of smart city or community technologies on the effectiveness and efficiency of civic operations and services.

(e)  “Security solutions” include video surveillance, emergency light and panic alarms, and additionally, information technology, as defined in section 11101 of USC title 40, and information systems, as defined in section 3502 of USC title 44”

(f) “Matching funds” includes in-kind services, goods, equipment, or other noncash contributions calculated at fair market value.

(2)  CREATION; GOALS. —The State Smart City Challenge Grant Program is created within the Department of Transportation. The goals of the grant program include, but are not limited to:

(a)  Providing opportunities to municipalities and other regions of the State to develop innovative smart mobility solutions to local transportation and security challenges.

(b)  Deploying smart city technology that has an immediate impact on the safe, secure, and efficient movement of people and goods within municipalities and other regions of the State.

(c)   Providing enhanced education and workforce development opportunities by deploying emerging technologies that support the State’s future workforce.

(d)  Meeting the mobility needs of residents of this State, particularly transportation disadvantaged persons as defined in, by increasing access to and convenience of transportation within municipalities and other regions of the State.

(e)  Facilitating the efficient movement of freight within the State, especially in and around airports and seaports.

(f)   Creating a smart mobility demonstration community in the State that serves as a model for municipalities and other regions nationwide.

(g)  Ensure the resiliency of smart city transportation systems against cybersecurity threats and physical and social vulnerabilities and breaches through the utilization of security solutions.

(3)  ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS. —

(a)  The following entities may apply to the Department of Transportation for a grant to fund projects under the State Smart City Challenge Grant Program:

  1. A State, county, municipal, regional, or other agency that is responsible for the movement of persons, goods, or services within a defined geographical region, including an entity created pursuant to chapter 343, chapter 348, or chapter 349.
  2. A metropolitan planning organization or transportation planning organization. Each entity responsible for deploying or operating the project on behalf of a metropolitan planning organization or transportation planning organization must submit a letter to the department detailing its commitment to the implementation, operation, and maintenance of the project.
  3. A State university.

(b)  In selecting eligible applicants to receive grants under this section, the Secretary shall prioritize applicants for a State Smart City Challenge Grant that:

  1. Identify transportation challenges and describe how smart transportation technologies and systems can address such challenges;
  2. Determine what technologies have the most potential to address the challenges identified;
  3. Identify what data may be collected an analyzed using these technologies and how such data would be used to continue to address identified transportation challenges;
  4. Incorporate relevant security solutions based on the scope and necessity for such smart city project;
  5. Comply with any other requirements that the Secretary may identify.

(4)  PROPOSALS. — By September 1 of the fiscal year in which funds are appropriated for this program, the Department of Transportation shall issue a request for proposals for the award of a State Smart City Challenge Grant. Each proposal submitted to the department must include:

(a)  A statement by the applicant certifying that the project will be implemented and operational within 2 years after receipt of the grant.

(b)  A plan for fulfilling documentation requirements under the department’s statewide Systems Engineering Management Plan within such 2-year period.

(c)   A description of how operation and maintenance costs for the project will be funded in order to ensure that the department’s investment in the project is sustained.

(d)  A plan for evaluation of the project and the methods by which such evaluation will be shared with residents of the area served by the project.

(e)  The procedure for integrating the project’s transportation-related data into the department’s Data Integration and Video Aggregation System.

(5)  AWARD OF GRANTS. —Contingent upon specific appropriation by the Legislature, the Department of Transportation shall award a State Smart City Challenge Grant to at least three recipients. The department shall distribute the award to each recipient by January 1 of the fiscal year in which funds are appropriated.

(a)  The grant may fund up to 50 percent of project costs. The grant recipient must fund at least 10 percent of project costs. Grant funds must be used exclusively for startup costs, including, but not limited to, acquisition of hardware, software, and assets associated with implementation of the project, and may not be used for costs associated with operation or maintenance of the project.

(b)  In selecting grant recipients, the department shall give priority to those proposals that demonstrate the availability of matching funds from partner organizations to fund project costs and that include a plan for documenting the acquisition and expenditure of such matching funds.

  1. The department shall give further priority to those proposals that include matching funds from private-sector partner organizations; however, local public funds may also be used.
  2. Matching funds may be used for costs associated with operation, maintenance, and evaluation of the project.
  3. A grant recipient that receives matching funds must document the contribution of such funds in a quarterly report that details the manner in which the value of such contribution is calculated.

(6)  REPORTING REQUIREMENTS. —

(a)  Each recipient of a State Smart City Challenge Grant must submit a quarterly report to the Department of Transportation regarding the development, implementation, and operation of the project. Such report must include information documented pursuant to subparagraph (5)(b)3.

(b)  The Department of Transportation must submit a quarterly report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates regarding the overall status of the grant program.

(c)   After implementation of the project is complete, each recipient must submit an initial report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Delegates which details the project’s impact on the transportation system within the area served by the project, the extent to which the goals of the grant program have been met, and recommendations for project revisions or improvements to guide future deployment activities. A final report must be submitted 2 years after submission of the initial report.

(7)  ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT. —The Department of Transportation shall provide administrative support to the State Smart City Challenge Grant Program in order to facilitate the deployment of smart city technology within the State, including, but not limited to, expedited review of proposals submitted under subsection (4). The department may select an independent nongovernmental entity to assist in project construction, management, and evaluation; to oversee the implementation of the project; and to analyze and document lessons learned during, and benefits derived from, implementation of the project. The nongovernmental entity must have experience with the national Smart Cities Initiative, advanced transportation deployment experience in this State, extensive engineering experience, or expertise in stakeholder engagement of potential partners to create a demonstration community as described in paragraph (2)(h).

Section 2.            This act shall take effect ______________, 20__.