Crazy Good News. Now Letâ€™s Challenge Ourselves.
Ten days ago Columbus received some crazy good news. Some much deserved validation. Columbus is one of seven finalist for the USDOT SmartCity challenge. Â Itâ€™s great to be in the company of these six other cities.
Now the work begins. I want us to win. But the truth is the $100,000 might be asÂ important than the $40 million.
Hereâ€™s why. Columbus needed this challenge. We needed a push. Even if we lose the contest (which we shouldnâ€™t- weâ€™re a perfect choice, USDOT I hope youâ€™re listening), I hope we take this phase of the process to organize ourselves.
Iâ€™m excited to start the hard work. Columbus must confront our coming rapid population increases. We must work together quickly to put forward bold, data-driven ideas to improve lives by making transportation safer, easier, and more reliable. Weâ€™ll need to put details to our ideas. Fast.
But we can and we will.
I believe this $100,000 will force us to confront our transportation demons. And weâ€™ve got them. This challenge is about using data technology, and creativity to shape how people and goods are moved. Itâ€™s about solutions that lessen demand on transportation infrastructure.*
The solutions included in our proposal will not solve all our transportation problems, but they surely will spark us to do more. I do hope we continue our discussion on light rail, BRT or streetcars. I hope we think about how this $40 million might fit in the bigger picture. I hope we challenge ourselves and each other. Â But most importantly, I hope we use the $100,000 as a launching pad for a truly connected Columbus.
-Elissa Schneider, Chair Transit Columbus
*Speaking ofâ€¦.see our blog post on the Transit Pass Program. Itâ€™s just good math!