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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane misses cut for $50 million Smart Cities grant

From staff reports

Spokane is out of the running for a $50 million award to upgrade its transportation systems with 21st-century technology.

Both Spokane and Seattle entered the U.S. Transportation Department’s Smart Cities Challenge, but neither is among the seven finalists.

One Northwest city did make the cut. Portland is a contender for the grand prize with a proposal to build smarter streets that can talk to connected and self-driving cars and develop an app to promote alternatives to driving.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the other finalists – Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh; and San Francisco – at the South by Southwest Interactive technology conference in Austin last week.

The finalists each get $100,000 to refine plans to compete for the big grant: $40 million in federal money plus $10 million from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc. to promote electric car deployment.

Spokane proposed using the money to electrify the city’s transit system, quadruple Avista’s plan to build 265 vehicle-charging stations throughout the city, and enhance Spokane Transit Authority’s Central City Line, an electric fixed-route trolley that would run between Browne’s Addition and Spokane Community College.

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