Mayor Joe Ganim envisions Downtown as a start-up test center for autonomous vehicles. In a letter to the tri-chairs of the state legislature’s Transportation Committee, Ganim is pitching designated lanes Downtown for the testing process that would include installation of transponders. Where could this be done? Water Street?
Ganim this week wrote to legislators Carlo Leone, Antonio Guerrera and Toni Boucher:
I write today to offer the City of Bridgeport as a test location for autonomous vehicles in the State of Connecticut. In anticipation of the legislature passing Senate Bill No. 260, the task force created by its enactment will need locations to test this emerging technology. As the state’s largest city, Bridgeport is a good fit for this type of testing.
Specifically, the downtown tear drop area is experiencing a renaissance with more transit-oriented housing, restaurants and quality of life improvements. This area includes the University of Bridgeport, Webster Bank Arena and Harbor Yard ballpark to the south, and stretches northward to include Housatonic Community College and the two downtown theaters currently being redeveloped. It also encompasses the area surrounding our multi-modal transportation center including our bus and train stations connecting to Greater Bridgeport Transit, Metro North and Amtrak railway service. Autonomous vehicles provide a unique opportunity for residents and university students to access entertainment and transportation in Bridgeport.
The City of Bridgeport would like to assist with the evolution of autonomous vehicles. Our cooperation would include designated lanes in the downtown area for the testing process and the willingness to install transponders on existing infrastructure. The Bridgeport legislative delegation also supports this proposal which would keep the Park City at the forefront of innovation in Connecticut.