- $3 million will be made available to fund innovative proposals to improve the efficiency of the state of New York's transportation system, while reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The funding will be available through a partnership between the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
- Applicants can submit concept papers through October 30, and those that NYSDOT and NYSERDA deem the best will be invited to submit proposals; the partners will select proposals to receive funding. Concept papers must illustrate a broad impact across New York and show innovation in either efficient mobility solutions or efficient infrastructure, operations and systems planning. They should demonstrate new technologies, increase access to alternative modes of transportation or make roads safer.
- The program supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state-level version of the Green New Deal and the state's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030.
One of the two concept paper focus areas is efficient mobility solutions, which includes ideas for reducing congestion. This complements New York City's recently approved congestion pricing plan to alleviate traffic jams. Reducing congestion ultimately lowers emissions by cutting the amount of time motorists spend driving and idling.
The transportation sector is one of the largest emissions producers in New York, along with buildings. NYSDOT and NYSERDA say the $3 million for innovative transportation solutions continues a collaboration that already has led to the introduction of new technologies, safer roads and increased public transit ridership.
Some of the partners' previous greenhouse gas reduction projects include funding to support LED streetlights, funding an autonomous electric shuttle, launching a bike-share program and providing food truck vendors with electricity from power pedestals rather than having to run on diesel or gasoline generators.
Another major state initiative to reduce emissions is increasing the amount of electric vehicles (EVs) and related charging infrastructure to meet Cuomo's goal of 10,000 EV charging stations throughout the state by 2021. Various rebates and incentives are available for consumers who purchase EVs, and over the next two years, fast chargers will be installed at many travel plazas and commuter parking lots.