U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that they secured $5 million in funding for two New York City universities to research how to improve the mobility of people and goods throughout the country. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program, which provides grants to consortia of colleges and universities in order to advance state-of-the-art transportation research and technology.
The two grants secured by the senators will provide the City College of New York (CCNY) with $3 million as a Regional University Transportation Center (UTC), while New York University (NYU) will receive $2 million as a Tier 1 UTC.
“Upgrading and maintaining our transportation systems, whether it’s to move goods from one end of the city to another or to get commuters to work, is vital for New York City and the country as a whole,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “These funds will be used by some of our brightest minds to research what are the most innovative and efficient ways to move goods and residents across town and reduce congestion.”
“I’m proud to secure this $5 million in research funding for City College of New York and New York University to conduct critical research to advance transportation technology and equity throughout our region and the country,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “These colleges, and other University Transportation Centers, will be researching ways to make transportation more equitable, resilient, and sustainable, and I’ll keep fighting for the federal funds to strengthen our transportation infrastructure.”
“Transportation, research and education have always been an area of paramount concern at City College,” said City College of New York President Vincent Boudreau. “Elevating our campus to a regional transportation hub allows us to play a stronger role in workforce development in the transportation sector and to more efficiently leverage the capacity of our partner institutions in elevating American transportation.”
“The selection of NYU Tandon’s C2SMART transportation center, under the leadership of Professor Kaan Ozbay, for this important project is further proof that the center is pursuing innovative solutions to the growing transportation congestion problems of New York City. Its findings will serve as an example for the rest of the US,” said NYU Tandon School of Engineering Dean Jelena Kovacevic. “In particular, the center’s ability to bring together data science and AI will help create a more sustainable transportation network nationally.”
CCNY’s funding will go toward advancing economic strength & global competitiveness, equity, and climate & sustainability for Region 2, which covers New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Working alongside City University of New York’s Bronx Community College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, NYU, Princeton University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers University, State University of New York’s (SUNY) University at Albany, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, SUNY Stony Brook University, and University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, CCNY will leverage recent advances in data, analytics, and vehicle and infrastructure technologies to plan, design, implement and operate a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable transportation system for Region 2 that supports mobility and access to opportunity for all the region’s residents and businesses.
NYU’s Tier 1 UTC funding will be used to establish the Connected Communities for Smart Mobility Towards Accessible and Resilient Transportation for Equitably Reducing Congestion (C2SMARTER) Center. C2SMARTER will focus on the USDOT priority area of reducing congestion, examining how it exacerbates inequities among different population segments. Partnering with CUNY-NYC College of Technology, University of Texas-El Paso, University of Washington, Rutgers University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, and Texas Southern University, the C2SMARTER Center will utilize the principles of USDOT’s strategic goals in using evidence-based decision making to turn research into transformative and equitable solutions that take advantage of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and connected and autonomous vehicles.
Each UTC is a consortium of two- and four-year colleges and universities that pool their resources to advance technology and expertise in the many disciplines comprising transportation through education, solutions-oriented research and technology transfer, and the exploration and sharing of cutting-edge ideas and approaches.