Paradox Prize Seeks Answers to Transportation Issues

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Fund for Our Economic Future has launched The Paradox Prize, a three-year program that will award up to $1 million to support 15 pilot programs aimed at “eradicating the transportation paradox of ‘no car, no job; no job, no car.’ ”

“For decades, industrial, commercial and residential development has migrated outward, but there has been no net increase in jobs or population to substantiate the regional spread,” the organization said on The Paradox Prize’s website. “People spend more time and money commuting, if they can get to a job at all. Businesses struggle to fill open positions. Municipalities spend on infrastructure to support new development while having to maintain the underutilized assets left behind. Our environment suffers as air quality declines due to long, car-based commutes.”

The first deadline for proposals is July 15. Applicants can submit a summary of the transportation challenge they’re working to address, a proposed solution and potential partners. Finalists, announced July 22, will be present a business plan to a regional mobility advisory committee.

The second round of submissions opens July 15 and the third Sept. 9. A pilot showcase featuring all selected proposals, as well as the announcement of the schedule for the second year of The Paradox Prize, will be held Dec. 2.

Awards will range from $20,000 to $100,000. Technical assistance will also be awarded to aid early-stage concepts.

For those with transportation challenges or ideas not yet ready to be implemented, the Fund for Our Economic Future will host workshops throughout northeastern Ohio to connect people and partners, provide technical assistance and discuss and share proposals. Locally, the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley will host office hours July 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A full list of workshops is available here.

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