C_TEC Applauds Moving FIRST Act

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 9:00am
March 14, 2018
 
The Honorable Catherine Cortez Masto
 
The Honorable Richard Burr
 
 
 
Dear Senators Cortez Masto and Burr:
 
C_TEC, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Engagement Center, applauds your leadership by introducing S. 1809, the ‘Moving and Fostering Innovation to Revolutionize Smarter Transportation Act” (Moving FIRST Act.)
 
This legislation would help America’s technology lead the world by embracing smart cities which will be vital to reducing traffic congestion, encouraging energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, as well as connect Americans to more job and economic opportunities.
 
The Moving FIRST Act would extend the Department of Transportation’s “DOT” Smart Cities Challenge. Columbus, Ohio, which won $40 million in DOT grants from the program, was able to leverage its initial federal support into nearly $500 million in additional private and public investment.
 
Smart cities hold the promise of increased municipal savings. According to one study by Accenture, “smart city solutions applied to the management of vehicle traffic and electrical grids could produce $160 billion in benefits and savings through reductions in energy use, traffic congestion, and fuel costs.”
 
Passage of the Moving FIRST Act would expand the opportunities from the Smart Cities Challenge to large, medium-sized, and rural communities in need of growth. C_TEC believes that those localities awarded Moving FIRST grants should use them in a way that is complementary and not competitive to privately-owned and already-existing communications infrastructure.
 
As the densification of urban populations continues, it will be vital that cities are able to more efficiently manage traffic and the services they offer their citizens. Advanced technology using sensors and data will be critical to making the nation’s municipalities smarter and able to tackle 21st century challenges.
 
Pilot projects such as those envisioned by the Moving FIRST Act would accelerate the growth of smart cities and help localities not receiving funds learn how to incorporate technology into their planning. The funding provided by the Moving FIRST Act would enable these smart projects get the start they need and help the nation lead in innovation. That said, we encourage the passage of S.1809.
 
Sincerely,
Tim Day
Senior Vice President
C_TEC U.S. Chamber of Commerce
 
Cc: Members of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.