H. R. 995
To improve transportation safety, efficiency, and system performance
through innovative technology deployment and operations.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 10, 2011
Mr. CARNAHAN (for himself and Mr. ROGERS of Michigan) introduced the following
bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
To improve transportation safety, efficiency, and system performance
through innovative technology deployment and operations.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Smart Technologies for Communities Act'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) Congestion on our roadways is hampering American's daily lives, slowing
down commerce, polluting the environment we live in, and wasting fuel. It
is estimated that in our metropolitan communities, the average commuter
wasted 34 hours in 2009 sitting in traffic, resulting in 3,900,000,000 gallons
of wasted fuel and costing more than $115,000,000,000 annually. With our
growing population and demand for freight transportation expected to double
by 2035, failure to address traffic congestion adds to the cost of goods
movement and threatens the Nation's economic competitiveness and quality
(2) Even with a record decline in traffic fatalities in 2009, nearly 34,000
people were killed on United States roads, the equivalent of more than 200
fully loaded 737 airliners. The economic cost alone of traffic fatalities
and injuries has been estimated at $230,000,000,000 each year.
(3) The transportation sector contributes nearly one-third of the Nation's
carbon dioxide emissions, while wasted fuel from idling vehicles and stop-and-go
traffic puts family budgets in the red, drives up the cost of goods and
services, and increases our Nation's dependence on foreign oil.
(4) The United States cannot continue to simply build our way into a safer,
cleaner, and more efficient transportation system. We must make better use
of the tools that are available, including intelligent transportation systems
(ITS), to actively manage our transportation network to improve safety,
efficiency, and multimodal connectivity.
(5) Technology solutions are available today to help cities and States reduce
congestion and emissions, make our roads and transit systems safer, and
provide the public with improved access to transportation options and real-time
information to make efficient travel decisions.
(6) Transitioning to electric and other alternative fueled vehicles requires
the integration of intelligent transportation systems with the Smart Grid
and other energy distribution and charging systems.
(7) ITS technologies are cost effective and quick to deploy, with solutions
like synchronized and adaptive traffic signals yielding a $40 return in
time and fuel savings for every $1 invested while also reducing carbon dioxide
emissions up to 22 percent and travel delays by 25 percent. The Government
Accountability Office found the benefit-cost ratio of a nationwide real-time
traffic information system to be 25 to 1, with a $1,200,000,000 investment
returning more than $30,000,000,000 in safety, mobility, and environmental
benefits. The overall benefit-cost ratio of ITS-enabled operational improvements
is estimated at 9 to 1, a significant return on investment when compared
to the addition of new highway capacity which has an estimated benefit-to-cost
ratio of 2.7 to 1.
(8) An estimated 31 percent of traffic crashes could be prevented or have
their impact reduced through the deployment of collision avoidance technologies,
according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Moreover, the Department
of Transportation estimates that a comprehensive vehicle-to-vehicle and
vehicle-to-infrastructure communications network could potentially prevent
or reduce the impact of 81 percent of all unimpaired vehicle crashes. For
ITS technologies like vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications,
a national coordinated deployment structure is important for ensuring uniform
standards and regulations that ensure interoperability and stability.
(9) Transitioning to a more efficient, performance-based transportation
network requires ITS technologies to provide accurate, real-time traffic
and multimodal transportation system information necessary for measuring
performance, as well as for actively managing the transportation network
to optimize capacity and meet or exceed system performance goals.
(10) Effective transportation financing mechanisms of today and tomorrow
depend on ITS to be viable, including electronic toll collection, dynamic
pricing, integrated payment systems for transit, tolls, parking and other
services, and potential future alternatives such as variable mileage-based
(11) Investing in ITS creates good jobs, with an average of 50 percent of
ITS project spending going directly to wages and salaries as compared to
20 percent for new highway construction. Researchers from the London School
of Economics and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (referred
to in this section as `ITIF') have found that investing in ITS creates a
network effect throughout the economy and stimulates job creation across
multiple sectors, including green jobs, high-tech, automotive, information
technology, consumer electronics, and related industries. In addition, investing
in ITS provides a foundation for long-term benefits including government
cost savings, economy-wide productivity, and an improved quality of life.
(12) The lack of national investment in ITS has caused the Nation to fall
behind other world innovation leaders. A 2010 ITIF report found that the
United States is lagging behind Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and other
leading Asian and European nations in the deployment of ITS technologies
with countries like China beginning to invest heavily in the deployment
of transportation technology. These countries have generated significant
benefits for their citizens, economy, and environment by investing heavily
in ITS solutions. In order to strengthen the Nation's economic competitiveness
and quality of life, it is in the interest of the United States to encourage
the accelerated development and deployment of intelligent transportation
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act, the following definitions apply:
(1) ELIGIBLE ENTITY- The term `eligible entity' means a State or local government,
including a territory of the United States, tribal government, transit agency,
port authority, metropolitan planning organization, or other political subdivision
of a State or local government or a multi-State or multi-jurisdictional
group applying through a single lead applicant.
(2) ITS- The term `ITS' means intelligent transportation systems.
(3) MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL GROUP- The term `multi-jurisdictional group' means
a combination of State governments, locals governments, metropolitan planning
agencies, transit agencies, or other political subdivisions of a State that
have signed a written agreement to implement the Smart Communities Technology
Initiative across jurisdictional boundaries. Each member of the group, including
the lead applicant, must be an eligible entity to receive a grant under
(4) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Transportation.
SEC. 4. SMART COMMUNITIES TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE.
(a) Establishment of Program- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment
of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a Smart Communities Technology
Initiative to provide grants to eligible entities to develop pilot programs
to serve as model deployment sites for large scale installation and operation
of ITS to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and return on investment.
The Secretary shall develop criteria for selection of an eligible entity to
receive a grant, including how the deployment of technology will enable the
(1) to reduce costs and improve return on investments, including through
the enhanced utilization of existing transportation capacity;
(2) to deliver environmental benefits and reduce energy consumption by alleviating
congestion and streamlining traffic flow;
(3) to measure and improve the operational performance of its transportation
(4) to reduce the number and severity of traffic collisions and increase
driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety;
(5) to collect, disseminate, and utilize real-time traffic, transit, parking,
and other transportation-related information to improve mobility, reduce
congestion, and provide for more efficient and accessible transportation
(6) to monitor transportation assets to improve infrastructure management,
reduce maintenance costs, prioritize investment decisions, and ensure a
state of good repair; and
(7) to deliver economic benefits by reducing delays, improving system performance,
and providing for the efficient and reliable movement of goods and services.
(b) Request for Applications- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment
of this Act, the Secretary shall request applications in accordance with section
5 for participation in the Smart Communities Technology Initiative.
SEC. 5. GRANT PROGRAM.
(a) Grant Application- To be considered for a grant under this Act, an eligible
entity shall submit an application to the Secretary that includes the following:
(1) DEPLOYMENT PLAN- A plan to deploy and provide for the long-term operation
and maintenance of intelligent transportation systems to improve safety,
efficiency, system performance, and return on investment, such as--
(A) real-time integrated traffic, transit, and multimodal transportation
(B) advanced traffic, freight, parking, and incident management systems;
(C) collision avoidance systems;
(D) advanced technologies to improve transit and commercial vehicle operations;
(E) synchronized, adaptive, and transit preferential traffic signals;
(F) advanced infrastructure condition assessment technologies; and
(G) other technologies to improve system operations, including ITS applications
necessary for multimodal systems integration and for achieving performance
(2) OBJECTIVES- Quantifiable system performance improvements, including
reducing traffic-related crashes, congestion, and costs, optimizing system
efficiency, and improving access to transportation services.
(3) RESULTS- Quantifiable safety, mobility, and environmental benefit projections
including data driven estimates of how the project will improve the region's
transportation system efficiency and reduce traffic congestion.
(4) PARTNERSHIPS- A plan for partnering with the private sector, public
agencies including multimodal and multijurisdictional entities, research
institutions, organizations representing transportation and technology leaders,
and other transportation stakeholders.
(5) LEVERAGING- A plan to leverage and optimize existing local and regional
(6) INTEROPERABILITY- A plan to ensure interoperability of deployed technologies
with other tolling, traffic management, and intelligent transportation systems.
(1) GRANT AWARDS- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this
Act, the Secretary shall award a grant to not more than 6 eligible entities
with funds available for up to 5 fiscal years.
(2) GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY- In awarding a grant under this section, the Secretary
shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that grant recipients represent
diverse geographic areas of the United States, including urban, suburban,
and rural areas.
SEC. 6. USES OF FUNDS.
A grant recipient may use funds authorized in this Act to deploy, operate,
and maintain ITS and ITS-enabled operational strategies, including--
(1) advanced traveler information systems;
(2) advanced transportation management technologies;
(3) infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, and condition assessment;
(4) advanced public transportation systems;
(5) transportation system performance data collection, analysis, and dissemination
(6) advanced safety systems, including vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure
communications and other collision avoidance technologies;
(7) integration of intelligent transportation systems with the Smart Grid
and other energy distribution and charging systems;
(8) electronic pricing and tolling systems; and
(9) advanced mobility and access technologies, such as dynamic ridesharing
and information systems to support human services for elderly and disabled
SEC. 7. REPORTS.
(a) Report to Secretary- Not later than 1 year after an eligible entity receives
a grant award under this Act and each year thereafter, each grant recipient
shall submit a report to the Secretary that describes--
(1) deployment and operational cost compared to the benefits and savings
from the pilot program and compared to other alternative approaches; and
(2) how the project has met the original expectation as projected in the
deployment plan submitted with the application, including--
(A) data on how the program has helped reduce traffic crashes, congestion,
costs, and other benefits of the deployed systems;
(B) data on the effect of measuring and improving transportation system
performance through the deployment of advanced technologies;
(C) the effectiveness of providing real-time integrated traffic, transit,
and multimodal transportation information to the public to make informed
travel decisions; and
(D) lessons learned and recommendations for future deployment strategies
to optimize transportation efficiency and multimodal system performance.
(b) Report to Congress- Not later than 2 years after grants have been allocated
and each year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress
that describes the effectiveness of grant recipients in meeting their projected
deployment plan, including data on how the program has--
(1) reduced traffic-related fatalities and injuries;
(2) reduced traffic congestion and improved travel time reliability;
(3) reduced transportation-related emissions;
(4) optimized multimodal system performance;
(5) improved access to transportation alternatives;
(6) provided the public with access to real-time integrated traffic, transit,
and multimodal transportation information to make informed travel decisions;
(7) provided cost savings to transportation agencies, businesses, and the
traveling public; and
(8) provided other benefits to transportation users and the general public.
(c) Additional Grants- If the Secretary determines from a grant recipient's
reports that the recipient is not carrying out the requirements of the grant,
the Secretary may cease to provide any additional grant funds to the recipient.
The Secretary shall have the authority to redistribute remaining funds to
select additional eligible entities for pilot programs under this Act.
SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(1) IN GENERAL- There are authorized to be appropriated out of the Highway
Trust Fund to carry out this Act--
(A) $100,000,000 for fiscal year 2012;
(B) $300,000,000 for fiscal year 2013;
(C) $200,000,000 for fiscal year 2014;
(D) $200,000,000 for fiscal year 2015;
(E) $200,000,000 for fiscal year 2016; and
(F) $200,000,000 for fiscal year 2017.
(2) CONTRACT AUTHORITY- Funds authorized under this subsection shall be
available for obligation in the same manner as if the funds were apportioned
under chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, except that such funds
shall not be transferable, the obligation limitations shall not apply to
such funds, and shall remain available until expended.
(b) Grant Limitation- The Secretary may not award more than 25 percent of
the amount appropriated under this Act to a single grant recipient.
(c) Expenses for Grant Recipients- A grant recipient under this Act may use
not more than 5 percent of the grant award each fiscal year to carry out planning
and reporting requirements.
(d) Expenses for Secretary- Before awarding grant funds under this Act, the
Secretary may set aside $3,000,000 each fiscal year for program reporting,
evaluation, and administrative costs.