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Mayor's Office

2018 Media Releases

October 29, 2018
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, City Communications, 402-441-7831

Mayor Says City Continuing to Pursue Shuttle Project

Mayor Chris Beutler today said Lincoln is continuing to pursue grant opportunities and partnerships that will help the City's autonomous shuttle project become a reality. In February, the project earned Lincoln recognition as one of 35 Champion Cities in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor's Challenge competition. Lincoln was not one of the nine cities named winners of that competition today.

"Lincoln's autonomous shuttle is a ground-breaking project that will change the face of transportation in our City and serve as a model for the entire nation," Mayor Beutler said. "That's why Lincoln was chosen as one of 35 Champion Cities from more than 300 submitted proposals. Lincoln was invited by the Federal Transportation Authority to submit an application for our autonomous shuttle program, and we are still in the running for a $5 million grant from the BUILD program. If we are successful there, we will be able to take the next steps to bring autonomous shuttles to downtown.

"We are grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for our inclusion as a Champion City," Beutler said. "The technical expertise they provided as part of the competition was invaluable to advancing our shuttle project."

Bloomberg Philanthropies planned to award one prize of $5 million and four prizes of $1 million. Instead, they awarded $1 million to nine cities: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; Durham, North Carolina; Fort Collins, Colorado; Georgetown, Texas; Huntington, West Virginia; New Rochelle, New York; and South Bend, Indiana.

As a Champion City, Lincoln received $100,000 to refine its idea this summer. That resulted in a test of a Navya autonomous shuttle at Innovation Campus. More than 1,500 riders participated in the test and gave the project team feedback.

The City's partners in the project include HDR, Allo, Nelnet, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Nebraska Innovation Campus, Nebraska Innovation Studio, the Downtown Lincoln Association and The Mill. More information on Lincoln's project is available at

About the 2018 Mayors Challenge

The 35 Champion Cities performed the best against four key criteria - vision, potential for impact, implementation plan and potential to spread to other cities. A prestigious selection committee assessed the applications. It was Co-Chaired by Former Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Former Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns and included distinguished policy experts, artists, academics, business executives and social innovation leaders.

The 2018 Mayors Challenge builds on the success of previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

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