The U.S. Research and Innovative Technology Administration recently announced the 10 universities across the nation that have been designated as a Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) under provisions of the surface transportation authorizing legislation.
Section 5402 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) provided for a competitive process for designating the regional centers, which will now be eligible to up to $2 million in each of Fiscal Years 2007-2008 and $2.225 million in FY 2009. The federal funding must be matched on a 50-50 basis with non-federal funding. Universities selected as Regional UTCs are:
Region 1: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Region 2: City University of New York
Region 3: Pennsylvania State University
Region 4: University of Tennessee
Region 5: Purdue University
Region 6: Texas A&M University
Region 7: University of Nebraska
Region 8: North Dakota State University
Region 9: University of California
Region 10: University of Washington
The UTC Program was initiated in 1987 with the establishment of 10 centers, one in each federal region "to advance U.S. technology and expertise in the many disciplines comprising transportation through the mechanisms of education, research and technology transfer at university-based centers of excellence."
The number of University Transportation Centers has grown with each authorizing bill. SAFETEA-LU increased the number of UTCs from the 33 established in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) to 60. Annual funding for the program also increased from $32.5 million in TEA-21 to $76.7 million in SAFETEA-LU. A total of 40 UTCs were designated by Congress in the legislation and 20 were to be chosen through competitive selection.