Balderson’s SMART in Transportation Act aims to spur innovation

U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH) on Feb. 18 sponsored legislation that would establish a new program to provide eligible entities with grants to deploy, install and operate advanced transportation technologies.

The Strengthening Methods to Advance Research and Technology (SMART) in Transportation Act, H.R. 1089, aims to spur innovation, improve efficiency and promote advanced technology in America’s transportation systems, according to Rep. Balderson’s office. 

“Representing a diverse geographic district, it’s important to me that the SMART Transportation Act ensures that urban, suburban and rural voices in the transportation innovation space are heard,” Rep. Balderson said last week.

If enacted, H.R. 1089 would authorize key U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) programs, including the Advanced Transportation Technologies program, the Connected Vehicle Deployment Pilot program, the Automated Driving System Demonstration program, and the Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Advanced Digital Construction Management Systems program, according to a bill summary provided by the congressman’s office.

Additionally, the measure would require that no less than 20 percent of grant funds be reserved for projects serving rural areas across the nation, according to the summary.

“Throughout our history, central Ohio has always led our country in smart mobility and advanced transportation research,” said Balderson, a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “My legislation will support the efforts of our local transportation thought leaders like DriveOhio, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), and Terra Sound, who are driving technological innovation through state-of-the-art research and work that will improve road safety and create more efficient transit options throughout the state.”

DriveOhio, MORPC, and Terra Sound support the legislation, which Rep. Balderson originally introduced in September 2020 during the 116th Congress.