The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has selected the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BMNC) as one of five U.S. locations to pilot the Complete Trip – ITS4US Deployment Program. The Complete Trip – ITS4US Deployment Program challenges communities to identify ways to provide more efficient, affordable, and accessible transportation options for underserved populations that often face greater challenges in accessing essential services.
The Complete Trip-ITS4US deployment in Buffalo is a partnership between the BNMC, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), the University at Buffalo (UB), the City of Buffalo, and other stakeholders. The deployment is structured in three phases with potential funding of $8.2 million.
The team will develop an integrated suite of travel services that enables older adults and individuals with disabilities to make assisted, connected, and integrated trips without the need for a personal automobile to and from the Medical Campus. The deployment will fund the delivery of accessible trip planning applications combined with advanced indoor/outdoor wayfinding, first- and last-mile self-driving shuttle vehicles, and intersection pedestrian safety technologies especially for medical needs in the campus and its neighboring communities.
The award highlights of the role of the BNMC as a regional innovation hub and its role as the convening organization for the numerous collaborations and partnerships that have brought about the energy and momentum that can be seen on the Campus today.
Speaking about the award, BNMC Chief Executive Officer Matt Enstice said, “The Medical Campus has served as a vital testing ground for many new technologies and innovations. We aim to help create a transportation system that provides quality and safe mobility options for all members of our community, and this project will help solve real-world accessibility problems that can be replicated in other communities throughout the U.S.”
The long-standing institutional collaborations, partnerships, and working relationships between the various public, academic, and private stakeholders located on the medical campus were key factors in consideration of the award.
“The University at Buffalo is dedicated to bringing the benefits of its research and scholarly expertise to the City of Buffalo and beyond. In this project, that includes the advancement of new technologies, such as self-driving shuttles and transit planning apps, as well as ensuring the built environment is accessible to people with disabilities, older adults, and other vulnerable populations,” said Adel Sadek, a professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
The multidisciplinary team at UB that Sadek is leading includes additional faculty members from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as faculty members from the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access, which is part of the School of Architecture and Planning.
“Enhancing transit accessibility is a top priority for us,” said Tom George, Director of Public Transportation, NFTA.” We are excited to be part of this innovative project that will strengthen the connection between our community and its public transportation system.”
The deployment will occur in three phases beginning this month with the contract launch of the planning phase of the project. In the planning phase, a team led by ICF will support the development of the concept and detailed deployment design.
About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) seeks to re-imagine our city’s future through the dynamic intersection of technology, health, discovery, and collaboration. The BNMC is an enterprise focused on cultivating inclusive innovation in partnership with our community. We do this by improving infrastructure, managing our sustainable transportation system, creating a culture of health and wellbeing, facilitating and nurturing innovation, and working with our partners to drive equitable economic development and growth. www.bnmc.org.