The Working Capital Fund finances multidisciplinary research, evaluation, and analytical and related activities under the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA. The Volpe Center is solely financed through negotiated agreements with the Office of the Secretary, U.S. DOT modal administrations, and other governmental elements requiring the Volpe Center's capabilities.
The Volpe Center mission is to advance technical, operational, institutional and managerial innovations to improve the nation's transportation system; to anticipate emerging transportation issues; and to be a federal center of excellence for informed decision-making. The Volpe Center provides a unique capability in the synergy of transportation expertise with its institutional knowledge of the global transportation system and its stakeholder perspective; the federal perspective with its awareness of federal responsibilities, objectives and activities in the public interest; and experience with the full spectrum of technologies and disciplines relevant to transportation system improvements. Five hundred fifty federal employees, all dedicated transportation professionals - half of which have advanced degrees, is the Volpe Center's most important asset who represent a full spectrum of disciplines from engineering to physical and social sciences.
To facilitate its mission and the mission of the Department, the Volpe Center has eight Centers of Innovation: Multimodal Systems Research and Analysis; Safety Management Systems; Environmental and Energy Systems; Freight Logistics and Transportation Systems; Physical Infrastructure Systems; Communication, Navigation, Surveillance and Traffic Management Systems; Human Factors Research and System Applications; and Advanced Vehicle and Information Network Systems. Collectively these Centers of Innovation provide progressive, multidisciplinary expertise in support of key U.S. DOT and national transportation issues and in solving complex transportation problems.
The Volpe Center also provides leadership to advise, facilitate and manage a wide range of high profile, complex, often rapid response, U.S. DOT, agency, and priority initiatives of the Secretary, RITA Administrator and Volpe Center Director. Through extensive outreach and coordination the Volpe Center supports the U. S. DOT's efforts to expand its understanding of current and emerging issues through strategic planning initiatives and timely communication.