AUSTIN (KXAN) – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced more than $11 million in grants for six transit bus automation research projects that will improve safety, efficiency, and accessibility on the road and in bus maintenance yards.
CapMetro will get nearly $950,000 of that money to integrate vehicle automation in an advanced yard management system and run heavy-duty vehicle demonstrations at its operations facility, according to Thursday’s announcement.
The FTA said the CapMetro project will also include “a bus automation workforce analysis to address how bus yard automation may impact existing roles and create demand for new positions.”
The CapMetro project was one of six transit bus automation research projects the FTA was supporting with $11.6 million in grants, according to Thursday’s announcement.
The FTA said examples of projects include strategies for avoiding collisions with pedestrians, improved emergency braking and precision movement for bus fueling, charging, and maintenance.
According to the announcement, grant recipients “will demonstrate technologies that reduce bus collisions, improve facility operations, and improve the accessibility and efficiency of service.” Many of the projects include workforce analysis and training activities to address how automation may impact existing jobs and help operators and maintenance workers develop new skills, the announcement said.
The other five projects getting grants are:
- Connecticut Department of Transportation, $2 million
- University of Alabama, $2 million
- Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority in Florida, $893,000
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, $4.5 million+
- Colorado Department of Transportation, $1.2 million+