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Mobility challenge focuses on East Austin

Ford launches citywide contest for transportation solutions

crowded highway with buildings in backround
IH-35 in Austin
Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0Wikimedia Commons

If the Austin City: One Challenge website is any indication, Austinites have a lot of ideas about how to improve mobility in the city. “Cable cars in Austin,” “lower/eliminate bus fares,” and “redesign I-35” are a just a few of the thoughts posted on the site for the citywide contest, which offers the local community an opportunity to propose mobility solutions that help improve the quality of life for residents and complement existing transportation. The winner will receive $100,000 for funding and testing a pilot program.

Ford and Austin Transportation Department’s Smart Mobility partnered on the challenge, which was launched yesterday. The contest will focus on improving access to essential goods and services in East Austin, particularly for historically underserved or vulnerable members of the communities there.

Dell Technologies, AT&T, and Microsoft also contributed to the Austin City: One Challenge. Austin is the fourth city to launch a City: One Challenge program this year. The others are Indianapolis, Indiana; Detroit, Michigan (of course); and Mexico City

How it works

For the next eight months, local residents, community organizations, and businesses are invited to explore and suggest dynamic mobility options that would help people move more easily among East Austin neighborhoods and other parts of the city—including making walking and biking more workable and providing additional access to transportation.

In October, finalists will be selected to receive a stipends to refine their ideas and pitch their pilot proposals. Ford and Austin Smart Mobility will award up to $100,000 for funding and testing the winning proposal.

More information for participants is available on the City One: Challenge website.