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Two New $2 Million Federal Smart Grants Enhance Safety Along Light Rail in the Rainier Valley & Support Deliveries in Seattle

Two New $2 Million Federal Smart Grants Enhance Safety Along Light Rail in the Rainier Valley & Support Deliveries in Seattle
Two New $2 Million Federal Smart Grants Enhance Safety Along Light Rail in the Rainier Valley & Support Deliveries in Seattle
March 24, 2023   //   

By Ethan Bancroft


  • New grants: The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded Seattle two new $2 million grants via its SMART (Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation) grant program.
  • Reliable deliveries: The second grant, awarded to us, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), funds digitizing the curb to help people making deliveries.
  • Thank you, partners: We want to thank the USDOT, our federal Congressional delegation, and our partners at Sound Transit, the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab, and the Open Mobility Foundation for making these projects possible.
  • Look ahead: We’re now eligible for up to $15 million in additional federal funding if the pilots are successful.

Grants are an important way we supplement local funding to advance projects in Seattle. Since 2022, we’ve received over $40 million in federal grants.

We applied for this grant in 2022, and you can read more about our application in this previous blog post. We’re thrilled to be selected to receive this grant funding!

We’ll work closely with our partners at the UW Urban Freight Lab and the Open Mobility Foundation to establish new commercial vehicle permit policies and pilot a digital permit. We aim to reduce congestion, improve access to the curb, and promote more sustainable forms of delivery. You can read more about how the process works and its benefits in this previous blog post.

Seattle was not alone in its efforts – cities around the country are working together with the Open Mobility Foundation to improve curb access using similar technologies, including Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Miami-Dade County. Buffalo, New York also won a grant for curb management.

“This grant will allow us to advance work to modernize how we provide reliable access for commercial delivery vehicles at the curb using a collaborative, data-driven approach. We look forward to working with our partners at the Open Mobility Foundation and University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab, along with cities around the country.”

– Mike Estey, Manager of Curbside Management, SDOT

“The Urban Freight Lab is delighted to partner with the Seattle Department of Transportation, Open Mobility Foundation, freight carriers, and local business to deliver new digital tools and data-driven solutions to maximize access, safety, mobility and usage of the limited curb space in Seattle. Deploying new strategies and approaches is key to increasing network productivity, reducing congestion and emissions, promoting a more efficient last mile, and achieving Seattle’s climate and economic goals.”

– Anne Goodchild, Director, Urban Freight Lab, University of Washington

“We’re so excited to see USDOT invest in building open source data and technology capacity – a critical part of creating safer, more equitable, and environmentally sustainable city transportation systems. As a public-private partnership on the forefront of building this digital infrastructure, the Open Mobility Foundation looks forward to seeing the SMART grant propel this collaborative of cities, including Seattle, to connect, share learnings, and leverage open source tools like the Curb Data Specification (CDS) to accomplish their policy goals.”

– Andrew Glass Hastings, Executive Director, Open Mobility Foundation

We continue to seek grants building on our momentum. You can read more about some of our recent grant applications, the $25.6 million Safe Streets grant we received earlier this year and the nearly $15 million we were awarded in 2022 to help revive three city bridges. We were also recently awarded a $2.4 million grant for a future bridge replacement planning study of the 4th/Argo Railyard Bridge.