Reps. Comstock & Esty Introduce Smart Cities Legislation

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Provided by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Office

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) introduced H.R. 4151, the Smart Technology for Resilient, Efficient, Economic and Reliable Transportation in Cities and Communities Act (STREET Act). The legislation expands on the successful Department of Transportation (DOT) Smart Cities Challenge program and will provide grants to small and medium sized cities on a competitive basis.  Additionally, the STREET Act calls for the development of a smart city resource guide, directs the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report on Smart Cities, and supports National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards for Smart Cities.

“Innovative technologies can affect real change in our daily lives,” said Rep. Comstock.  “The success of the Department of Transportation Smart Cities Challenge turned an initial investment of $40 million into additional $500 million in public and private funding to advance transportation technologies that help ease congestion and put these communities on a path toward transportation innovation that will ultimately grow the economy.  The STREET Act establishes a follow-up program to the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart Cities challenge by authorizing $100 million a year for a period of five years so that small and medium-sized cities can think outside the box for their transportation needs.  In Virginia’s 10th District, localities could look at ways to use new and emerging transportation technologies to help residents with congestion relief and to help solve other transportation challenges.  CompTIA, the National Association of Counties, and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association are among the supporters the STREET Act, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation.”

“The Smart Cities program was popular for a reason: towns and cities across the country are eager to harness the power of data, technology, and creativity to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” said Rep. Esty. “Working together to spur innovation that improves the way we move people, goods, and information helps create vibrant communities where families want to live and businesses want to invest. I am excited to work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to get this program firmly established in law and help those who are creating good-paying American jobs.”

Summary: Based on its prior and successful Smart Cities Challenge program, the STREET Act authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a follow up program to its Smart Cities Challenge Program that will award grants to small to medium-sized cities up to $100 million every year for a five year period. The bill also calls for development of a Smart City and Community Resource Guide, a GAO study on innovative ways to fund smart cities and community projects, and encourages an industry-led review of ongoing smart cities standards and interoperability efforts domestically and internationally.  The STREET Act supports an effort coordinated by NIST to develop an industry-led, consensus-based framework to harmonize existing standards, develop best practices and model standards.    Defines guidelines, tools, best practices, standards, methodologies, and encourages interoperability of smart city or community devices and systems.

List of groups supporting the STREET Act and letter of support:

  • CompTIA
  • National League of Cities
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Electrical Manufacturers Association
  • Telecommunications Industry Association
  • Business Council for Sustainable Energy
  • Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association
  • Information Technology Industry Council
  • Gridwise Alliance
  • Smart Cities Council
  • Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC)

To read the full legislation go here:  H.R. 4151, the Smart Technology for Resilient, Efficient, Economic and Reliable Transportation in Cities and Communities Act (STREET Act).  


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