Charlotte competes for $40 million transportation grant

Charlotte competes for $40 million transportation grant

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte is competing with cities across the country for $40 million to help motorists travel through town easier.
 
Eyewitness News anchor Scott Wickersham has more on the competition and what the U.S. Department of Transportation is looking for in a winner.

The DOT calls it the "Smart City Challenge" and Thursday is it deadline for mid-sized cities to apply. 
 
Robert Phocas, who is in charge of Charlotte's application, told Channel 9 the DOT wants to see how cities would increase mobility and safety, and address climate change.
 
It's not just people Charlotte leaders are thinking about
 
"Not only how do you and I get around in the city, but how does our freight move in and out of the city and around the city," Phocas, the city's energy and sustainability manager, said.
 
Phocas is confident Charlotte has a shot at winning the grant and said the competition has sparked great conversations about transportation goals.
 
Last month, Channel 9 sat down with U.S. Transportation Secretary and former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.
 
He said the city and surrounding communities need to come to a consensus on a strategy that embraces a combination of buses, light rail, street cars and new roads.
 
Within the next month or two, the DOT will narrow the list down to five cities. The winning city will be announced in June.

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