Grants will help deliver transportation solutions in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, Central UP and Southeast Michigan
Detroit, Mich. – Pointing to the critical role transportation plays in improving access to services and public life in communities across the state, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the final round of pilot projects to receive funding under the $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge initiative today at the North American International Auto Show.
The Michigan Mobility Challenge grants address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans across the state, with projects in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, the Central Upper Peninsula and Southeast Michigan receiving funding in this second round.
“We have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to advance our state’s technology and automotive landscape in a way that also improves the quality of life for countless individuals in Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “The Michigan Mobility Challenge can offer a blueprint for the rest of the nation on how to look to mobility technology to improve transportation options for citizens who need access to an affordable, reliable way to go to the bank, their doctor’s appointment or the grocery store.”
Whitmer was joined at the announcement by Paul Ajegba, Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Trevor Pawl, Group Vice President of PlanetM and disabilities advocate Dr. Kimberly Kennedy of Grand Rapids.
“MDOT’s core mission is providing safe transportation options to all citizens,” Ajegba said. “I’m very pleased that under the leadership of Jean Ruestman, our Office of Passenger Transportation has encouraged innovative mobility projects across the state. And I want to especially thank Gov. Whitmer for supporting the Mobility Challenge.”
The four projects announced today are:
“Besides making communities safer, greener and more productive, we believe a new mobility solution should also be a way to uphold a person’s dignity,” said Trevor Pawl, Group Vice President of PlanetM, the state of Michigan’s mobility-focused brand and business development program. “This project illustrates the impact of Michigan’s leadership in piloting new technology as well as a commitment to quality of life here in the state.”
The $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge was designed to fund the demonstration of projects of using new technology and innovative service models to address mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans in Michigan. Awarded grants will be used to subsidize a portion of the cost to plan, deliver and monitor the demonstration services for a three- to six-month period, with the remaining costs being covered from fares, local contributions and other funds. Projects will coordinate with current services to enhance the existing transportation network in an area.
The first round of nine Michigan Mobility Challenge grants were announced in October 2018. Today’s announcement brings the total number of projects funded to 13 projects in urban, rural and suburban communities of varying sizes throughout Michigan.
PlanetM is a partnership of mobility organizations, communities, educational institutions, research and development, and government agencies working together to develop and deploy the mobility technologies driving the future. Available to any mobility-focused company or investor, PlanetM is a no-cost, concierge service that connects startups, businesses and communities to Michigan’s mobility ecosystem — the people, places and resources dedicated to the evolution of transportation mobility. Michigan has always been the leader of the automotive industry, and as transportation technologies continue to evolve in amazing ways, Michigan continues to lead the way. Visit PlanetM.com to learn more.