“Simply put, mobility is a life or death issue for Austin.” -Mayor Adler
Today Mayor Adler and officials from the Austin Transportation Department previewed their presentation to the delegation from the U.S. Department of Transportation that is in Austin for the Smart City Challenge. In his remarks, Mayor Alder promised to move ahead with the technological transformation of Austin’s mobility regardless of the outcome of the Smart City Challenge because doing so, he said, could create “an economic boom that lifted up the people who are usually left behind.”
Mayor Adler, along with ATD Director Rob Spillar and ATD Chief of Staff Karla Taylor, made the case that Austin, one of seven finalists for the $50 million competition to use technology to make mobility safer, cheaper, cleaner, and more effective for everyone, was the best choice for the Smart City Challenge.
“No city needs this more, and no city is better situated to take advantage of all the Smart City Challenge offers on mobility. What we can accomplish with mobility technology can provide ladders of opportunity for everyone in Austin as well as greater mobility for everyone in the country. You don’t get opportunities like this all the time, and we are going all out to win it,” said Mayor Adler.
Nevertheless, should Austin not prevail in the Smart City Challenge, Mayor Adler pledged to forge ahead with the technological transformation of Austin’s mobility. He and Spillar cited instances in which the reforms included in Austin’s initial proposal are already underway in the city, including the testing of automated Google cars and the City’s partnership with the University of Texas Center for Transportation Research to coordinate data to better manage traffic.
Given Austin’s head start and role as a tech hub, Adler cast the Smart City Challenge as a means to address Austin’s affordability crisis.
“We can, and because we can, we must. And because we must, we will. I want the Smart City Challenge to be a ladder of opportunity into the middle class,” said Mayor Adler.