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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT provides $77 million in research and education grants, $40.8 million to help upgrade transit in national parks


Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced $77 million in grants that will be provided to 22 University Transportation Centers (UTCs) for research and education programs in transportation.

“These research centers will help us solve the transportation challenges we face today and those that we know lay ahead of us,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a prepared statement.

The USDOT used a competitive process to select 10 UTCs, two transit-focused UTCs and 10 regional UTCs. Each UTC will receive a $3.5 million grant, which must be matched with funds from non-federal sources. The 22 UTCs are all consortia, involving more than 121 different universities.

The UTCs will work with regional, state and local transportation agencies to help find solutions to challenges that directly impact their communities and help make the nation’s transportation system more efficient.

Meanwhile, the USDOT also announced $40.8 million in grants for 58 projects that will provide transit access to visitors of American national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, and modernize aging transportation infrastructure. The grants include five totaling $3.2 million for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which serves visitors to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Cleveland.

The funds come from the Federal Transit Administration’s Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/18/2012