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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the availability of $29 million in competitive research funds for public transportation projects that will help transit agencies strengthen their ability to recover from natural disasters and other emergencies.The announcement marks the first time funds are available through the FTA's Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Program for projects specifically designed to strengthen safety and improve transit system resiliency, FTA officials said in a press release."We're calling on the transit industry, the private sector, universities and others to work with us to develop and implement innovative solutions that reflect our commitment to safety and bringing transit facilities into a state of good repair," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. "This will translate into real-world improvements, . . . ranging from reducing transit-related injuries to making transit systems less vulnerable to flooding and severe weather."Funding proposals will be considered in three areas:• projects that develop and demonstrate new or improved technologies, methods and practices that will increase the operational safety of public transportation services;• projects that increase the resilience and robustness of public transportation systems so they can better withstand natural disasters or other externally caused emergencies; and • projects that improve communication with emergency responders and demonstrate promising methods for restoring transit service in the wake of a major disruption.The $29 million will combine FTA research funds from fiscal-years 2012 and 2013. The administration expects to announce selected projects for funding in 2014.
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