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Startup Coord Seeking Governments for Digital Curb Challenge

Three winners will get access to Coord’s software, apps and APIs, and collaboration from the company’s experts, to deliver a project by the end of the year to make local streets and sidewalks safer or more efficient.

Smart parking meter
Coord, a New York-based mobility data company, is taking applications for a new, free pilot program to help public agencies address specific curbside management issues.

The startup today announced the launch of Coord’s Digital Curb Challenge, open to agencies in North America that have regulatory authority over the use of streets — not only cities but also airports, entertainment venues and universities. Coord’s website for the program says applications are due Feb. 14 and require an explanation of these things: what curb space challenges the agency faces, what solutions or focus areas the agency is interested in, what work has already been done to manage curb space, and which stakeholders would support a new curb space management program.

As examples of what kinds of projects a city might pursue, the news release mentions creating “smart” commercial loading zones that could reduce congestion by letting fleet drivers book space in advance using the Coord Driver app. Other examples include special passenger loading zones to manage demands of ride-hail services, or automatic price-changing on parking meters. Coord is open to other proposals, but the pilot program aims to help public agencies use data and analytics to make their streets and sidewalks more safe, accessible or efficient.

Three submissions of Coord’s choice will get access to the company’s suite of curb space management software for the duration of the program, which will vary based on the needs of each applicant in terms of legal approvals, public outreach, partner recruitment and so forth. Participants will also work with Coord experts to develop a scalable pilot program for deployment in their respective jurisdictions later this year.

“With our suite of tools, cities are empowered with … a digital curb, built with the necessary ground-level insights to improve their streets more seamlessly and effortlessly than ever before,” said Coord co-founder and CEO Stephen Smyth, in a statement. “We can’t wait to bring these tools to more cities as we kick off our first-ever Digital Curb Challenge.”

Since Smyth co-founded Coord in 2016, the company has released a software toolkit with web apps, a mobile app and an API to help public agencies map and assess curb assets such as meters and zones, analyze their use and plan where to make changes. Last year it launched an open data portal, Open Curbs, based on extensive curb data it had collected from six cities around the world.

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