Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) will highlight FTA’s commitment to support and advance innovation in the transit industry.
AIM will drive innovation by promoting forward-thinking approaches to improve financing, system design and service. Acting Administrator Jane Williams announced the plan during the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting on January 14, 2020.
AIM will provide $11 million in challenge grants to help transit agencies experiment with new ways of doing business, such as exploring new service models that provide more efficient and frequent service. FTA will also support outreach to both urban and rural areas to ensure widespread exposure to projects. A Notice of Funding Opportunity for the challenge grants will be published this spring.
FTA’s Fiscal Year 2020 competitive grant programs, which will total $615 million, will highlight innovation as part of their selection criteria. This will provide applicants with an opportunity to showcase how they can incorporate new approaches to improve the rider experience.
The AIM initiative will establish a national network of transit agencies that will test and share project results and use FTA’s technical assistance centers to promote promising innovations.
FTA’s Technical Assistance Centers will provide targeted technical assistance to deploy successful innovative models and develop case studies and hands-on resources. The centers will hold workshops focused on bringing together transit agencies to discuss best practices, identify barriers, and advance the adoption of new technologies and practices while ensuring safety for riders.