How Smart Transportation Projects Can Help Solve Social Issues

When the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) put out a Smart Cities Challenge, one might have expected the proposed solutions to cluster around transit issues. They did, but many went much further. In its newly issued report on lessons learned from the challenge, which ended in June 2016, the department details a range of proposals that look to leverage transit not just as a tool for managing commuting and congestions, but also as a means for addressing wider range of issues. “We see transportation being used as a tool to improve social outcomes,” said Sophie Shulman, acting assistant secretary for the USDOT Research and Technology Office. “There are places where there is a problem that is not really about transportation, but where transportation can be a solution.”