PITTSBURGH, PA. — The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $10.9 million Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) grant for Pittsburgh smart transit upgrades.
The FAST grant will pay for Pittsburgh to wire up six streets that empty into a heavily congested traffic zone called the Golden Triangle. An adaptive signal network and its sensors will test if the city can better balance traffic by deploying smart transit technology.
The deployment of new technology will help pedestrians, bikers, drivers and transit riders navigate our roads more safely and efficiently,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
The adaptive signal network, which Pittsburgh has dubbed the “Smart Spine,” feeds traffic, vehicle and social media information into the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center. The city of Pittsburgh is partnering with Allegheny County and the University of Pittsburgh to implement and operate the system.
The Smart Spine will monitor traffic and allow for better control of signals on those streets. For example, Smart buses, public safety or freight vehicles will be able to communicate with smart traffic signals to move them through intersections efficiently.
Similar smart transit systems are in use in East Liberty, Pa., and Larimer, Pa.
Pittsburgh originally proposed the Smart Spine during DOT’s Smart City Challenge. The city was one of seven finalists looking at $50M in transit technology awards. Columbus, Ohio, won the 2016 challenge.