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Crisscrossed By Trains, Lima Looks To Become A 'Smart City'

Lt. Governor Jon Husted joined the virtual announcement of Lima, Ohio, as Ohio's first new 'Smart City'
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Lt. Governor Jon Husted joined the virtual announcement of Lima, Ohio, as Ohio's first new 'Smart City'

The project will install technology that will collect data about approaching trains, and give nearby drivers navigation assistance in real-time.


The State of Ohio has been awarded a multi-year smart transportation grant by the Spectrum internet company and the nonprofit organization US Ignite. The state’s first smart transportation initiative is going to be located in Lima, Ohio.

Thirty-five trains run through downtown Lima every day. David Berger, the Mayor of Lima, said at a presentation on Tuesday that this leads to traffic congestion in the city.

“Things can be tied up here for, not just minutes, but long periods of time," Berger says. "Impacting commerce, impacting the ability for fire trucks to be able to get across town, ambulances to be able to respond to needs.”

The project will install technology that will collect data about approaching trains, and give nearby drivers navigation assistance in real-time. Satya Parimi is the Group Vice President of Spectrum’s Smart Cities Initiative. Parimi says some of this technology is still in the development process.

“We are planning to, because of COVID, build some of this in our lab in Denver here where we have our Spectrum Engineering Offices where there’s actually a train line that’s right outside the office," Parimi says. "So we are actively testing some of this technology.”

Mayor Berger says addressing this problem in Lima may have a widespread impact on travel.

“I gotta tell you, if we solve it in Lima, it’s gonna get solved for communities all across the country,” he says.

The organizations working on the initiative hope to install this technology in Lima throughout 2021.