A total of US$3m in new funding has been made available for proposals to improve the efficiency of New York State’s transportation system while reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The finance from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) supports Governor Andrew M Cuomo’s ‘Green New Deal’ initiative and backs the state’s goal of reducing GHG emissions by 40% by 2030.
NYSERDA and NYSDOT will award the funding in a two-step competitive process. Applicants must first submit concept papers that illustrate proposals with broad application or impact across New York State, demonstrate new technologies, increase access to alternative modes of transportation, or make roads safer. NYSERDA and NYSDOT will identify the applicants with the best concept papers who will then be invited to submit proposals to be reviewed and selected for funding.
Concept papers will be accepted until October 30, and must center on innovative strategies in one of the following areas: Firstly, efficient mobility solutions – projects to reduce transportation congestion and shift travel demand to more energy-efficient modes, such as public transportation, greater bicycle availability, and overall improvements in mobility for people and goods. Secondly, efficient infrastructure, operations, and systems planning – projects to increase transportation efficiency by optimizing operations, expanding transportation options, or employing technology-driven approaches that can improve and be integrated into larger infrastructure improvement initiatives.
The transportation sector is one of the largest producers of energy-related GHG emissions in New York State. NYSERDA and NYSDOT have collaborated on numerous projects that support new, innovative technologies and local initiatives to reduce emissions and improve air quality. These projects include:
- Supporting a tri-city commuter challenge in Westchester County that resulted in employees increasing their use of public transportation;
- Funding a study to support installing new LED street lights at Central Avenue in Albany County, to enhance visibility and safety, as well as reduce energy costs, with deployment of new lights completed in February.
- Funding a self-driving Olli Bus electric shuttle that is being tested at the University at Buffalo with a goal of replacing a gas-emitting vehicle in the future;
- Funding a community-based study to solve parking problems in Buffalo, which helped inform the subsequent residents’ parking permit program;
- Launching a bike-share program in Ithaca and implementing plans to double the percentage of cycle use in and around the city;
- Funding planning studies for placing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in five upstate areas along the I-90 corridor.
In addition to these projects, New York State has launched numerous initiatives as part of its overall clean transportation strategy to reduce emissions. Last year, New Yorkers bought more EVs than ever before, with more than 16,000 sold in 2018, about 60% more than in 2017.