A joint development bid between the cities of Castlegar, Nelson, Rossland and Trail has been awarded $40,000 by the provincial government.
The grant from the Smart Communities pilot program will help fund the development of a transportation app from Martech Smart Solutions that will show users real-time travel data, including road safety issues, closures, wait times and natural disasters, as well as ride-share options for the West Kootenay.
The Smart Kootenays proposal also calls for the opening of virtual communication hubs at libraries and airports.
“Smart technology can place useful information at people’s fingertips to make our neighbourhoods safer and our lives more efficient,” said Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, in a statement Thursday.
“Small communities should not be left apart from innovation, and our government is taking action to ensure smart solutions are developed around the province to help make life better for everyone.”
The joint federal-provincial project required in-kind or in-cash funding from local governments or regional trusts of up to 20 per cent of the individual grant total as part of the application process.
“Our rural region will work together to measurably improve travel decision-making, road safety, and digital access by decreasing accidents, reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, and building the capacity of all residents to adopt digital technologies,” said the Smart Kootenays grant application.
Other grants were awarded to the District of Logan Lake ($38,650), Port Alberni ($28,800), and Prince Rupert ($22,120).
Grant applications were required to meet the definition of a smart community, address a local need, include consultation with residents and be completed within one year.
Related: West Kootenay cities and areas collaborate on Smart Cities Challenge