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Research and Development Program and Performance

Research and Development Program and Performance

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) was established as an administration within the Department of Transportation to provide strategic clarity to the Department’s multi-modal and intermodal research efforts, while coordinating the multifaceted research agenda of the Department.

Coordination and advancement of research and development activities is led by the RITA Office of Research, Development and Technology and is funded through the General Fund.  RITA also coordinates and reviews the following programs and activities:  the Volpe Center that services many of the research, development, and technology needs of the Department’s operating administrations on a fee-for-service basis; University Transportation Centers and Intelligent Transportation Systems programs that provide reimbursable services and the Transportation Safety Institute that provides training in a variety of transportation safety topics on a fee-for-service basis.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) is funded by an allocation from Federal Highway Administration’s Federal-Aid Highway account.  BTS compiles, analyzes, and makes accessible information on the Nation's transportation systems; collects information on intermodal transportation and other areas as needed; and enhances the quality and effectiveness of the statistical programs of the Department of Transportation through research, the development of guidelines, and the promotion of improvements in data acquisition and use.