The proposed project focuses on enhancing community resilience in Chatham County by improving transportation connectivity, particularly in historically disadvantaged areas. Chatham Area Transit (CAT) currently faces challenges in providing broad and reliable connectivity, especially in areas with the greatest needs. The SMART project aims to address this by planning and prototyping partnerships and technology solutions, including zonal microtransit via electric vehicles (EVs). In collaboration with GeorgiaTech, the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, and Savannah State University, this initiative seeks to increase connectivity to jobs, healthcare, education, and services. Recognizing the importance of transitioning from traditional fixed-route models, CAT also aims to explore microtransit as a more modern approach, leveraging the prevalence of smartphones to enhance accessibility.

Starting in Spring 2024, FUSE Executive Fellow Gloria Wesley will play a crucial role in understanding and integrating the efforts of CAT and local partners. Wesley will engage with stakeholders, including the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless and development agencies, to identify gaps, integration opportunities, and impacts on transportation, homelessness, and affordable housing. The project involves researching innovative models from peer cities, developing a strategy with a focus on equity, and facilitating its implementation. By April 2025, Wesley aims to conduct a Stakeholder Listening Tour, analyze and build the strategy, and design implementation plans to enhance microtransit policy development in Chatham County and Savannah.