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Regional University Transportation Centers

SAFETEA-LU Section 5402(c)(1)(A) authorized funding for a single university transportation center in each of the 10 standard Federal regions. Federal funding for the Regional UTCs is authorized for FY 2007 and 2008 at $2 million each year and $2.25 million for FY 2009. These amounts must be matched 100% with non-Federal funds.

Each Regional UTC is a consortium universities managed by a lead university. The Regional Centers from TEA-21 were designated for funding in FY 2005 and FY 2006.

In addition, SAFETEA-LU directed the USDOT to hold a competition to designate the Regional Centers for FY 2007-2009.The criteria for selection were:

  • The capability of the university to provide leadership in making national and regional contributions to the solution of immediate and long-range problems
  • The institution's commitment of at least $400,000 each year in regularly budgeted funds to support ongoing transportation research and education programs
  • Demonstrated ability to disseminate results of transportation research and education program through a statewide or regionwide continuing education program
  • The strategic plan that the university proposes to carry out under the grant
  • Location within the Federal region to be served
  • Evidence of a well-established, nationally recognized program in transportation research and education-
    • of not less than $2 million in highway or public transportation research expenditures each year for each of the preceding 5 years,
    • of not less than 10 graduate degrees awarded in professional fields closely related to highways and public transportation each year for each of the preceding years,
    • and not less than 5 tenured or tenured-track faculty members who specialize on a full-time basis in professional fields closely related to highways and public transportation who, as a group, have published 50 refereed journal publications during the preceding 5 years.

The competition was held in the summer of 2006 and the final designations of the Regional Centers were announced on July 27, 2006. The Regional UTCs, consortia universities and corresponding strategic themes for 2007 to 2009 are listed in table 4.