CARTA To Get Millions In Grants From Energy Department, NSF

Thursday, August 20, 2020 - by Joseph Dycus

CARTA's Philip Pugilese told board members of Thursday that the transit agency will be receiving millions of dollars in grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

“As you know, we’ve been operating under funding from the Department of Energy on understanding our energy use on our mixed fleet of buses,” Mr. Pugilese said. “That project has been extended through June of next year due to delays related to the pandemic.”

He said CARTA will be receiving a second grant (pending approval) that will give the organization $1.7 million in federal funding. This grant would take effect in October.

“That would take at the role of artificial intelligence in managing our transit routes, and how we use our neighborhood services and micro transit fleets in taking people from their neighborhoods to our primary route corridors,” Mr. Pugilese said.

He said the project should last around three years once it begins in October. In addition to this new influx of money, CARTA will also be (indirectly) receiving even more money from the National Science Foundation.

“One of our working partners at Vanderbilt University was awarded a NSF rapid response grant for the COVID-19 pandemic to evaluate transit ridership at CARTA and in Nashville,” Mr. Pugilese said. “They’ve been collecting data from both agencies, and working toward the goal of being able to provide occupancy data to our passengers.”

He said CARTA passengers will be able to onto an app and have  real-time data provided to them about the occupancy rate and arrival times of buses. That way, passengers would be able to make an informed decision about whether or not they want to board that particular bus, or wait for another one.

However, CARTA will also be receiving money directly from the NSF as well, with $2.1 incoming in order to fund a project aimed at helping under-served communities around Chattanooga.

“That will be looking at East Chattanooga and other areas in the city, and how we can use our neighborhood micro-transit resources to help provide greater accessibility in these underserved areas,” Mr. Pugilese said. “That is pending a final contract that would start in October for a four year project.”

CARTA Executive Director Lisa Maragnano said the funding and projects will be a boon for CARTA. She said “This helps support the services we need. We’re a small staff and we can’t do everything we need to do and we can’t hire everyone we need to hire. So our partners will be able to help us with that, and it’s exciting.”

Earlier in the meeting, it became known that parking revenue was down on the meters, and UTC professor Charlene Simmons had a very simple answer for that.

“It’s because few people are parking downtown, and we’re going to continue to see that trend. I’m on UTC’s campus right now, and we usually make a lot of money off the meters around campus because there are students who refuse to buy parking passes,” professor Simmons said. “But because we have a significantly smaller population of students on campus because we’ve moved so much online, you’re going to see a decline in revenue around UTC, and you’ll see it all semester.”

Another board member said the protests also had a negative impact on parking downtown. However, he said this was simply anecdotal observations.

The CARTA board also approved the 2020-21 executive committee budget report. Click here to view the report.

 

 


Search On At Chickamauga Creek For Missing Kayaker From Rossville

1 Person Unaccounted For In Early Morning House Fire On Wilcox Boulevard

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report


TWRA officers along with STARS Rescue Service, East Ridge Fire, Chattanooga Fire and Chattanooga Police have continued searching for Robert “DJ” Young, 26, from Rossville, Sunday morning. ... (click for more)

One person is unaccounted for in a house fire that occurred Sunday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department has been battling a second alarm house fire on Wilcox Boulevard with possible ... (click for more)

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: AMBROCIO-REYNOSO, HIGINIO 2716 13TH AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga ASSAULT --- ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Search On At Chickamauga Creek For Missing Kayaker From Rossville

TWRA officers along with STARS Rescue Service, East Ridge Fire, Chattanooga Fire and Chattanooga Police have continued searching for Robert “DJ” Young, 26, from Rossville, Sunday morning. Mr. Young was reported missing and his possessions were found in an overturned kayak on Chickamauga Creek on Saturday. Mr. Young’s fiancée dropped him off around 9 a.m. on Saturday ... (click for more)

1 Person Unaccounted For In Early Morning House Fire On Wilcox Boulevard

One person is unaccounted for in a house fire that occurred Sunday morning. The Chattanooga Fire Department has been battling a second alarm house fire on Wilcox Boulevard with possible entrapment. A passerby called it in at 4:42 a.m. and reported seeing flames coming from the home in the 3400 block, located near the intersection of Wilcox Boulevard and Tunnel Boulevard. ... (click for more)

Opinion

The Courts' Role In Protecting Voting Rights

Nov. 3, Election Day, is right around the corner. Of course, voting is fundamental to elections. It is through voting we both give our consent to those we entrust to govern us and hold those governing us accountable. From our right to vote come many of our rights and freedoms. Every day seems to bring new stories about disputes over voting, many of which are pursued through lawsuits. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump’s $455 Billion Call

Late last fall, there was a story that got a lot of mileage and for good reason. Donald Trump’s economic trade policy of America First signaled that our President had the guts to say “enough is enough” to The Marshall Plan, which by all rights should have been discontinued about 50 years ago but was not. It enabled the countries we were eager to help following World War II to continue ... (click for more)

Sports

No. 2 Alabama Routs Tennessee At Home, 48-17

Tennessee got a pair of touchdown passes from senior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and a career-best day from freshman wide receiver Jalin Hyatt , but it wasn't enough for the Vols to keep pace in a 48-17 setback to No. 2 Alabama at Neyland Stadium on Saturday. Guarantano, who had scoring passes of 38 yards to Hyatt and 27 yards to senior wide receiver Josh Palmer , finished ... (click for more)

Zeca Ends Career In CFC 1-0 Loss To Maryland Bobcats

For but a moment, it looked as if Zeca’s footballing skill would produce one last highlight in a career full of them. Standing with his back to the goal and down 1-0 to the Maryland Bobcats, the Chattanooga Football Club’s captain located the ball, flipped backwards, and took a bicycle kick. A storybook ending was being written in front of the Finley Stadium crowd who could not ... (click for more)