Kansas City has once again lost out in a bid for a major federal smart technologies grant.
Winners announced Thursday were Denver; Los Angeles; Marysville, Ohio; Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in New York; Pittsburgh, Pa.; San Francisco; and Houston.
Kansas City Chief Innovation Officer Bob Bennett had been optimistic the city could garner as much as $12 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation for cutting-edge transportation technologies. But the city was not among the recipients announced Thursday. Winners received grants from $3 million to just under $11 million.
This round of grants built on the Smart City Challenge, which provided $50 million in federal and private dollars to one winning city. Kansas City was a finalist for that funding but lost out to Columbus, Ohio.
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Kansas City already has smart kiosks, free Wi-Fi and other Smart City features along the downtown streetcar route from River Market to Union Station.
The city had hoped this federal funding would provide free Wi-Fi, kiosks and smart street lights along the 8.5-miles of the planned Prospect MAX rapid bus line, which is slated to be built on Prospect Avenue from downtown to 75th Street and Prospect. The city also hoped to provide smart city kiosks in other locations including the Northland and the Country Club Plaza.
“We still have a solid plan, and there will be other ways to find funding to execute our concept,” Bennett said Thursday in an emailed statement. “We will continue to focus on refining our Smart City infrastructure and developing a system of analytical tools to optimize the impact of our system for the good of the city.”