YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Youngstown is looking for companies to operate an automated shuttle in the city.

A Request for Proposals has been issued for a shuttle to run on Fifth Avenue and Rayen Avenue within the city’s SMART2 Network.

The SMART2 is a plan to connect businesses, homes, recreational facilities and academic and training centers in the city with better transportation.

Youngstown’s SMART2 Network won a $10.85 million build grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2018 to help fund the shuttle portion of the project.

Phase one of SMART2 began in 2021 with downtown construction. The end project will include pedestrian and bicycle facilities, autonomous transit shuttles, transit waiting environments, green infrastructure, streetscaping, and wayfinding connecting major regional destinations that include Youngstown State University, Mercy Health, Youngstown Business Incubator, Eastern Gateway Community College, and WRTA Federal Station.

Proposals from companies to operate the shuttle can be submitted online. Interested parties should submit a proposal by 12 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25.