Columbus – Today, Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) praised Columbus for winning the U.S. Smart City Challenge. The United States Department of Transportation, selected Columbus from a pool of seven finalists. As the challenge winner, Columbus will receive $40 million to help develop intelligent transportation systems that can be used to reduce congestion, keep travelers safe, protect the environment, respond to climate change, connect underserved communities, and support economic vitality. The city will also receive another $10 million from Vulcan Inc. to incorporate an electric vehicle infrastructure to help create the city of tomorrow.

“Columbus continues to show why we are a national leader in innovation and advanced thinking with transportation,” Senator Tavares stated. “We are the fastest growing metropolis in the Midwest and one of the top cities in the country for millennials to live. As our population continues to grow and expand it is important that our transportation systems keep up with the times. The money from the Smart City Challenge will help keep Columbus on the cutting edge.”

Senator Tavares, a former member of Columbus City Council (1999-2010) Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) recently sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 21 urging the United States Department of Transportation to award the grant money to Columbus. The resolution passed out of the Ohio Senate by a vote of 32-1 and passed out the Ohio House by a vote of 94-3.

“I would like to thank the members of the Ohio General Assembly who supported our efforts,” said Senator Tavares. “This grant means a lot to me and to the residents of our city. We will develop a ‘SMART’ system to address the myriad of needs and modalities to move people throughout our community.”

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Mental illnesses are sometimes crippling disorders that affect the lives of millions of Americans and oftentimes go unannounced because of the stigma associated with them.

Join me in spreading the word about “mental health” throughout the month of May so that your friends, family, and community can get the support and education that they need.

For more information about mental health awareness, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness at


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