YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown began its first phase of the $30 million SMART2 Network project, which will eventually use a driverless shuttle system to link downtown with both YSU and the Mercy Health campus on the city’s north side.
For the first phase of the project, lanes on 5th Avenue will be reduced.
Other improvements include green space, adding medians, enhanced crosswalks and upgraded traffic signals.
Kinnick, president of Eastgate Council of Governments, said they moved forward with the project because of a disconnect between the university and the hospital.
“This will be able to move people and students from the university to the hospital, to the downtown business district. This really ties the community together,” Kinnick said.
An $11 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation helped make this all possible.
“The enhancements we will be able to make with the lighting on the corridor. Certainly the walkways, some of the enhancements on the pedestrian crossings and then ultimately the driverless shuttle that will go back and forth from everything is really what’s important,” Kinnick said.