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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT arm to provide grants for University Transportation Centers


The U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Transportation Administration (RITA) last week announced that $72.5 million in funding will be made available to eligible nonprofit institutions of higher education in 2013 to help establish and operate University Transportation Centers (UTCs).

The UTC program awards grants to U.S. universities to conduct transportation research and develop the next generation of transportation professionals. Grant recipients will be announced in mid-2013, RITA officials said in a prepared statement.

"These transportation centers will be key in addressing today's transportation and infrastructure needs, and help us develop a professional workforce trained to tackle the challenges of the future," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Authorized by Congress under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the UTC program provides $72.5 million for up to 35 competitive grants in fiscal years 2013 and 2014. RITA plans to select five national UTCs to each receive a $3 million grant; 10 regional UTCs to each obtain a $2.75 million grant; and up to 20 Tier I UTCs to each win a $1.5 million grant.

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More News from 12/27/2012