UMass Transportation Center wins competitive $3.5 million grant

By Melanie Muller


Samantha Webber/Collegian

The University of Massachusetts Transportation Center has been named one of 10 recipients of a $3.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to an article on


The Federal Government awarded funding to five universities in New England that are collaborating in transportation research, according to Three of those schools are in Massachusetts.

Among the University Transportation Centers chosen in New England were the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Connecticut and the University of Maine in Orono, according to

The U.S. Department of Transportation said that New England schools will be receiving shares of $77 million dollars, which is being distributed to 22 facilities known as University Transportation Centers, in which schools form research teams.

A total of 121 universities are taking part in the various groups, according to

The various universities and centers will be working with one another and with federal agencies in order to research and promote “transportation safety and efficiency,” according to the MassLive article.

Each group will receive $3.5 million, which has to be matched with money from non-federal sources, according to MassLive.

In order to receive the $3.5 million grant, University Transportation Center applicants had to demonstrate commitment to developing collaborative relationships with institutions of different sizes or types. In addition, each center was judged based on research capability, support of the Transportation Center program’s goals, and ability to spur implementation of results, among other criteria. The grants may be spent over a two-year period.

The University Transportation Center program was established through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Research, Development and Technology in 1987, according to their website. The program has grown to include 60 transportation centers across the nation with 125 universities affiliated. Its goals are to encourage the production of research to increase transportation safety, sustainability, infrastructure investment and livability.

The University of Massachusetts Transportation Center has been in operation since 1999, and all five University of Massachusetts Schools are considered a part of the center, according to their website.

In 2009, it was highlighted in the University Transportation Center Program’s Points of Pride report for hosting a symposium on climate change and transportation, according to their website.

Previous research conducted through the UMass Transportation Center has included a collaborative study on drivers with early-stage dementia between the University of Michigan, Massachusetts, and Houston Transportation Centers. The UMass Transportation Center also collaborates with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to operate the Regional Traveler Information Center, according to their website.

-Melanie Muller can be reached at [email protected].