University Transportation Centers Program

To provide grants to nonprofit institutions of higher learning for the purpose of establishing and operating university transportation centers that conduct research, education, and technology transfer programs addressing regional and national transportation issues.


Examples of Funded Projects

See Agency website.

Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey $ 2,570,600   2018-06-052023-09-30
University Of Maine System $ 2,570,600   2018-06-052023-09-30
Pennsylvania State University, The $ 2,570,600   2018-06-052023-09-30
Regents Of The University Of Michigan $ 7,929,500   2016-12-022022-09-30
University Of Southern California $ 7,929,500   2016-12-022022-09-30
Portland State University $ 8,438,100   2016-12-022022-09-30
Louisiana State University $ 7,929,500   2016-12-022022-09-30
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill $ 8,438,100   2016-12-022022-09-30
University Of California, Davis $ 8,438,100   2016-12-022022-09-30
North Dakota State University $ 7,929,500   2016-12-022022-09-30

Program Accomplishments

The University Transportation Centers Program began in fiscal year 1988. Each center is extensively involved in research directly related to regional and national transportation issues. The centers also educate hundreds of students each year and built partnerships with state and local government as well as industry.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The University Transportation Centers will address surface transportation problems and issues and will seek solutions to both long-range and immediate transportation problems.

See below for information about grant matching requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

For the program's competitive grants, public and private nonprofit institutions of higher learning that have established transportation research programs.

Non-competitive grants must also be to public and private nonprofit institutions of higher learning but may or may not have established programs.

Beneficiary Eligibility

For the program's competitive grants, public and private nonprofit institutions of higher learning that have established transportation research programs. Non-competitive grants must also be to public and private nonprofit institutions of higher learning but may or may not have established programs.


A formal application outlining in detail how the institution meets program mission and goals; proposed management of the center; detailed delineation of organization, staff, faculty, and budget.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Two competitive selections for new grants will be held during 2006 for 1) one grant in each of ten standard Federal regions of the U.S. and 2) ten other grants with no locational restrictions. Applications will consist of standard Federal grant application and related forms and a proposal prepared to specifications that the agency will provide.

Award Procedures

Applications will be reviewed by a Departmental panel. Selection will be made by the RITA Administrator.


Competition is anticipated for spring/summer 2010, if the program is reauthorized in new legislation passed in 2009.


49 U.S.C. 5338, 5505, and 5506.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately six weeks.


Not applicable.


Competitive grants are for a four-year period; noncompetitive grants are for periods stated in the authorizing legislation. Grants are renewable each year upon satisfactory completion of prior-year work.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The Federal share of a grant shall be 50 percent of the costs of establishing and operating the university transportation center.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Three, four, or five years as designated in the authorizing legislation.

Post Assistance Requirements


Semi-annual and annual progress and financial reports; final technical report at the end of each research project.


Consistent with OMB Circular No. A-133.


Recipient is required to retain intact, for 3 years following submission of the final expenditure report, pending resolution of audit findings, all grant products, financial records, and supporting documents.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-1136-0-1-401; 69-8083-0-7-401.


FY 07 $76,700,000; FY 08 $76,700,000; and FY 09 $76,700,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Between $300,000 and $3,500,000 per center per fiscal year depending upon language in authorizing legislation.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Posted on the University Transportation Centers Program website at

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Research and Innovative Technology Administration; Office of Innovation, Research, and Education (RDT-30); Department of Transportation; 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (800) 853-1351.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Resources available to conduct work of center; leadership in transportation; established transportation programs in prior years; ability to disseminate results (full text found in authorizing legislation at 49 U.S.C. 5506).

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