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US Ignite and Charter’s Spectrum Smart Cities unit are working with Ohio-based entities to bring smart transportation to the state.

The two organizations have awarded a multi-year grant and are providing resources to the state to design and implement smart transportation projects. The first initiative is in Lima, where ways to leverage smart technology to improve traffic and increase safety at the city’s approximately 40 railroad crossings will be developed.

Spectrum says that it and US Ignite also are partnering with DriveOhio and InnovateOhio on the projects. The former is the state’s center for smart mobility and the latter is a state organization that more broadly uses technology to improve residents’ lives and transform services, the press release says.

The Lima project illustrates a public/private partnership that uses advanced technology for a practical and non-glitzy use—but one that makes life easier for residents. The work focuses on collecting data and using it to advise drivers about train schedules and wait times at crossings and to suggest alternative routes.

Spectrum will provide network connectivity and leverage its smart cities partner and vendor relationships to develop a proof of concept on use of smart devices to collect the data necessary to increase situational awareness and provide real time navigation assistance.

“The freight railroad system is a significant part of our city’s economy and infrastructure, but we know that the sheer number of crossings causes real inconveniences and impacts everyday travel for thousands of residents and visitors,” Mayor David Berger said in a press release. “We’re excited to have this collaboration and resources available to us to help advance smart transportation strategies that will deliver safer and more efficient travel for everyone in the community.”

Lima and subsequent participants for smart transportation projects will receive tailored guidance, tools and help from a specialized Spectrum Smart Cities team.

In March 2019, US Ignite and Spectrum selected St. Petersburg, FL, as a Smart Gigabit Community. The St. Petersburg Innovation District was given a three-year grant from Spectrum and is acting as the convening partner. It was the first initiative between Spectrum and US Ignite.

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