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FTA-Funded and Managed Transit Bus Automation Demonstrations & Pilots

What do new technologies mean for public transit agencies? FTA funds demonstrations and pilots to conduct applied, practical research for transit bus automation and to bring transit agencies, researchers, and industries together to learn and share in support of mobility and safety goals.

The locations of FTA-funded automated transit bus demonstrations and pilots are shown below. The projects included in the map and table focus on testing automation systems for full-size transit buses or smaller transit vehicles (e.g., low-speed automated shuttles and light-duty vehicles).

Map of FTA-Funded Transit Bus Automation Demonstrations & Pilots

A graphic that includes a map of the United States showing the locations of FTA-funded bus automation projects.

FTA has funded and managed transit bus automation projects through programs such as: 

Some of the programs, specifically AIM and IMI, have funded the Integrated Demonstrations identified in the Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR) Plan. Similarly, FTA has provided funding for evaluating transit bus automation projects through the STAR Plan Strategic Partnerships and the Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Program.

Table of FTA-Funded Transit Bus Automation Demonstrations & Pilots

Lead Agency Project Description Location Status Grant Funding Links
Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (Valley Metro) Operation of an on-demand service for ambulatory paratransit users and seniors aged 65 and over for Valley Metro’s RideChoice program using Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica models. Project partners include Arizona State University and Waymo. Phoenix Metropolitan Area, AZ Completed $250K MOD Grant

Valley Metro Website

FTA Fact Sheet 

Case Study 

Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) Operation of automated vehicles through three real-world demonstration projects (a low-speed automated shuttle service in the Roosmoor community, an on-demand, wheelchair-accessible automated shuttle service to a regional medical center, and installation of infrastructure along a two-mile segment of the I-680 corridor). Project partners include County Connection, Verizon, AAA, Nissan, and Local Motors. Contra Costa County, CA In Planning $7.5M ADS Demo Grant

CCTA Website


FTA Fact Sheet


ADS Grants Site


CCTA Press Release

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Operation of an automated bus in Mahoning Valley, OH, and Santa Clara Valley, CA using two purpose-built, common-specification prototype accessible automated electric vehicles. Project partners include WRTA and CALSTART. Santa Clara County, CA In Planning $2.3M AIM Grant (shared with WRTA)

VTA Website


AIM Project Selections

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Operation of a Local Motors Olli low-speed automated shuttle on the VA Palo Alto Health Care System campus.  Santa Clara County, CA In Operation $845K CMAQ Grant

VTA Website

CMAQ Site


 

Access Services of LA Operation of an automated Dodge ProMaster van along a three-mile corridor to provide shuttle service between a VA hospital in Westwood and an LA Metro light rail station. Project partners include LA City DOT, City of Culver Transportation Department, and Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus. Los Angeles County, CA In Planning $120K STAR Strategic Partner

Access Services Website

 
FTA Fact Sheet


STAR Plan Report 

Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Operation of bus rapid transit service with three electric New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE 40-foot buses on the CTfastrak dedicated busway (9 miles, 11 stations, 5 intersections) with applications including bus platooning and precision docking. Project partners include CTE, New Flyer, Robotic Research, the University of Connecticut, and the Capitol Region Council of Governments. New Britain and Hartford, CT In Planning $2.0M IMI Grant

CTDOT Website


FTA Fact Sheet


IMI Project Selections

Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) Operation of automated vehicles and other ITS systems along Bay Street in Jacksonville. The 15 vehicles to be used for the project are to be determined. Jacksonville, FL In Planning $25.0M BUILD Grant

JTA Website


BUILD Grant Fact Sheet

BUILD Grant 2018 Awards


Case Study


JTA BUILD Grant Site

University of Iowa Operation of an automated Starlite Transit bus (Ford Transit 350 HD Cutaway Cab chassis) on a 47-mile rural fixed-route loop from Iowa City through rural areas and small towns. Project partners include the University of Iowa, Iowa DOT, AutonomouStuff, and Mandli Communications. Johnson County, IA In Planning $7.0M ADS Demo Grant

University of Iowa Website


FTA Fact Sheet

ADS Grants Site

Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada  Operation of an automated circulator shuttle in the Las Vegas Medical District. The vehicles to be used for the project are to be determined. Las Vegas, NV In Planning $5.3M BUILD Grant

RTC Website


BUILD Grant Fact Sheet


BUILD Grant 2018 Awards

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Operation of automated motor coaches in the Lincoln Tunnel Exclusive Bus Lane (XBL), with applications including lateral lane-keeping and bus platooning. Project partners include New Jersey DOT, New Jersey Turnpike, New Jersey Transit, Robotic Research, Southwest Research Institute, Coach USA, and Greyhound.  New York Metropolitan Area (NY and NJ) In Planning $250K STAR Strategic Partner

PANYNJ Website


FTA Fact Sheet


STAR Plan Report

Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) Operation of an automated bus in Mahoning Valley, OH, and Santa Clara Valley, CA using two purpose-built, common-specification prototype accessible automated electric vehicles. Project partners include Santa Clara VTA and CALSTART. Mahoning County, OH In Planning $2.3M AIM Grant (Shared with VTA)

WRTA Website


FTA Fact Sheet


AIM Project Selections

Lane Transit District (LTD) Operation of an automated 60-foot articulated New Flyer bus on a 1.5-mile segment of LTD’s Emerald Express Bus Rapid Transit route, with applications including lateral lane-keeping and precision docking. Lane County, OR Completed $1.9M VAA Demo

LTD Website


Evaluation Report


Final Report

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) Operation of an EZ ZEUS, an electric, wheelchair-accessible cutaway bus, on a fixed-route connecting Texas Southern University, University of Houston, and Houston’s Third Ward, with connections to Metro buses and light rail. Project partners include AECOM, Phoenix Motorcars, and EasyMile. Harris County, TX In Planning $1.5M AIM Grant

METRO Website


FTA Fact Sheet


AIM Project Selections

City of Arlington, TX Operation of four automated Lexus RX 450h SUVs and one automated wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM e6 in an on-demand shared ride service in downtown Arlington and the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) campus. Project partners include Via Transportation, May Mobility, and UTA. Arlington, TX In Operation $1.7M IMI Grant

Arlington Website


FTA Fact Sheet

IMI Project Selections

Pierce Transit Operation of 30 New Flyer transit buses equipped with DCS Technologies’ automated emergency braking Pedestrian Avoidance Safety System (PASS). Pierce County, WA In Operation $1.6M SRD Grant

Pierce Transit Website


Case Study

Last updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2021