United States Department of Transportation

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or DOT) is a federal Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967. It is governed by the United States Secretary of Transportation.

United States Department of Transportation
Seal of the United States Department of Transportation
Seal of the United States Department of Transportation
Flag of the United States Department of Transportation
Flag of the United States Department of Transportation
Usdot headquarters

Headquarters of the U.S. Department of Transportation
Department overview
FormedApril 1, 1967
JurisdictionUnited States of America
Headquarters1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C.
38°52′32.92″N 77°0′10.26″W / 38.8758111°N 77.0028500°WCoordinates: 38°52′32.92″N 77°0′10.26″W / 38.8758111°N 77.0028500°W
Employees58,622
Annual budget$72.4 billion USD (FY2015, enacted)[1]
Department executives
Child agencies
Websitewww.transportation.gov
Seal of the United States Department of Transportation (1980)
The seal of the U.S. Department of Transportation prior to 1980.
Flag of the United States Department of Transportation (1967-1980)
The flag of the U.S. Department of Transportation prior to 1980.

History

Prior to the Department of Transportation, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation administered the functions now associated with the DOT. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency – the future Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – suggested to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that transportation be elevated to a cabinet-level post, and that the FAA be folded into the DOT.[2]

Administrations

Former Administrations

Budget

In 2012, the DOT awarded $742.5 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 11 transit projects. The awardees include light rail projects. Other projects include both a commuter rail extension and a subway project in New York City, and a bus rapid transit system in Springfield, Oregon. The funds subsidize a heavy rail project in northern Virginia, completing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metro Silver Line to connect Washington, D.C., and the Washington Dulles International Airport.[3] (DOT had previously agreed to subsidize the Silver Line construction to Reston, Virginia.)[4]

President Barack Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2010 also included $1.83 billion in funding for major transit projects, of which more than $600 million went towards 10 new or expanding transit projects. The budget provided additional funding for all of the projects currently receiving Recovery Act funding, except for the bus rapid transit project. It also continued funding for another 18 transit projects that are either currently under construction or soon will be.[3]

Following the same the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 delegates $600 million for Infrastructure Investments, referred to as Discretionary Grants.

The Department of Transportation was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2016 of $75.1 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows:[5]

Administration Funding (in millions) Employees (in FTE's)
Federal Aviation Administration $16,280.7 45,988
Federal Highway Administration $43,049.7 2,782
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration $580.4 1,175
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration $869.0 639
Federal Transit Administration $11,782.6 585
Federal Railroad Administration $1,699.2 934
Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration $249.6 575
Maritime Administration $399.3 835
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation $28.4 144
Office of the Secretary $935.4 1,284
Office of the Inspector General $87.5 413
TOTAL $75,536.1 55,739

Related legislation

Freedom of Information Act processing performance

In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of 15 federal agencies which receive the most Freedom of Information Act FOIA requests, published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the Department of Transportation earned a D by scoring 65 out of a possible 100 points, i.e. did not earn a satisfactory overall grade.[7]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ FY 2017 Department of Transportation Budget Request Archived 2017-04-29 at the Wayback Machine, pg 7, United States Department of Transportation, Accessed 2017-10-25
  2. ^ "US Department of Transportation, History". National Transportation Library. March 1, 2009. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "DOT Awards $742.5 Million in Recovery Act Funds to 11 Transit Projects". EERE Network News. May 13, 2009. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  4. ^ "Annual Report on Funding Recommendations – Fiscal Year 2010" (PDF). U.S. Department of Transportation. 29 April 2009. pp. A-75 (101) & seq. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-04-29. Retrieved 2017-03-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Profile Showing the Grades upon the Different Routes Surveyed for the Union Pacific Rail Road Between the Missouri River and the Valley of the Platte River". World Digital Library. 1865. Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  7. ^ Making the Grade: Access to Information Scorecard 2015 Archived 2016-03-13 at the Wayback Machine March 2015, 80 pages, Center for Effective Government, retrieved 21 March 2016

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of Transportation.

Atlantic Time Zone

The Atlantic Time Zone is a geographical region that keeps standard time—called Atlantic Standard Time (AST)—by subtracting four hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), resulting in UTC−04:00. During part of the year, some portions of the zone observe daylight saving time, referred to as Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT), by moving their clocks forward one hour to result in UTC−03:00. The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 60th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory.

In Canada, the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are in this zone, though legally they calculate time specifically as an offset of four hours from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT–4) rather than from UTC. Small portions of Quebec (eastern Côte-Nord and the Magdalen Islands) also observe Atlantic Time. Officially, the entirety of Newfoundland and Labrador observes Newfoundland Standard Time, but in practice Atlantic Time is used in most of Labrador.

No portion of the continental United States currently uses Atlantic Time, although it is used by the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A number of New England states are considering a regional change to Atlantic Standard Time year-round (with no observance of daylight saving time), even though only a small portion of Maine lies to the east of the 67.5°W theoretical extent of this zone. Florida is in the process of enacting a similar change; in both cases any changes will need to be approved by the United States Department of Transportation and the United States Congress.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), as part of the United States Department of Transportation, compiles, analyzes, and makes accessible information on the nation's transportation systems; collects information on intermodal transportation and other areas as needed; and improves the quality and effectiveness of DOT's statistical programs through research, development of guidelines, and promotion of improvements in data acquisition and use.

BTS is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System.

Department of Transportation v. Public Citizen

Department of Transportation v. Public Citizen, 541 U.S. 752 (2004), is a case argued in the Supreme Court of the United States on 21 April 2004. The question the case presented relates to Presidential foreign affairs and foreign trade Actions exempt from environmental-review requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Air Act. Specifically, the question is whether those Actions are subject to those requirements as a result of a rulemaking action concerning motor carrier safety by the federal agency with responsibility for that type of safety.

Federal Highway Administration

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the United States Department of Transportation that specializes in highway transportation. The agency's major activities are grouped into two programs, the Federal-aid Highway Program and the Federal Lands Highway Program. Its role had previously been performed by the Office of Road Inquiry, Office of Public Roads and the Bureau of Public Roads.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry in the United States. The primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

Federal Railroad Administration

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The agency was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. The purpose of FRA is to promulgate and enforce rail safety regulations, administer railroad assistance programs, conduct research and development in support of improved railroad safety and national rail transportation policy, provide for the rehabilitation of Northeast Corridor rail passenger service, and consolidate government support of rail transportation activities.The FRA is one of 10 agencies within DOT concerned with intermodal transportation. It operates through seven divisions under the offices of the Administrator and Deputy Administrator. These divisions are: Financial Management and Administration, Chief Counsel, Civil Rights, Public Affairs, Public Engagement, Railroad Policy and Development, and Safety. It has a staff of about 850.

Federal Transit Administration

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) that provides financial and technical assistance to local public transportation systems. The FTA is one of ten modal administrations within the DOT. Headed by an Administrator who is appointed by the President of the United States, the FTA functions through a Washington, D.C., headquarters office and ten regional offices which assist transit agencies in all states, the District of Columbia, and the territories. Until 1991, it was known as the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA).

Public transportation includes buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, monorail, passenger ferry boats, trolleys, inclined railways, and people movers. The federal government, through the FTA, provides financial assistance to develop new transit systems and improve, maintain, and operate existing systems. The FTA oversees grants to state and local transit providers, primarily through its ten regional offices. These providers are responsible for managing their programs in accordance with federal requirements, and the FTA is responsible for ensuring that grantees follow federal mandates along with statutory and administrative requirements.

Hurt Report

The Hurt Report, officially Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, was a motorcycle safety study conducted in the United States, initiated in 1976 and published in 1981. The report is named after its primary author, Professor Harry Hurt.

Noted motorcycle journalist David L. Hough described the Hurt Report as "the most comprehensive motorcycle safety study of the 20th century."The study was initiated by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which contracted with the University of Southern California Traffic Safety Center — the work was ultimately conducted by USC professor Harry Hurt.The Hurt Report findings significantly advanced the state of knowledge of the causes of motorcycle accidents, in particular pointing out the widespread problem of car drivers failing to see an approaching motorcycle and precipitating a crash by violating the motorcyclist's right-of-way. The study also provided data clearly showing that helmets significantly reduce deaths and brain injuries without any increased risk of accident involvement or neck injury. The full title of the report was Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, Volume 1: Technical Report.

After retiring from USC in 1998, Hurt established and headed the Head Protection Research Laboratory (HPRL), of Paramount, CA.

Infrastructure Technology Institute

The Infrastructure Technology Institute (ITI) is a federally funded transportation research center at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. ITI was founded by an $18 million grant in 1992, and in 1998 was named one of six "top tier" university transportation centers in the nation and awarded a $12 million, six-year federal grant through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. A primary focus of the work of ITI is structural health monitoring as well as advanced structural modeling methods. Currently, Professor Joseph Schofer is serving as a director of the institute.

Major airlines of the United States

The United States Department of Transportation defines a major carrier or major airline carrier as a U.S.-based airline that posts more than $1 billion in revenue during a fiscal year, grouped accordingly as "Group III".

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is a document issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to specify the standards by which traffic signs, road surface markings, and signals are designed, installed, and used. These specifications include the shapes, colors, and fonts used in road markings and signs. In the United States, all traffic control devices must legally conform to these standards. The manual is used by state and local agencies as well as private construction firms to ensure that the traffic control devices they use conform to the national standard. While some state agencies have developed their own sets of standards, including their own MUTCDs, these must substantially conform to the federal MUTCD.

The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) advises the FHWA on additions, revisions, and changes to the MUTCD.

National Bridge Inventory

The National Bridge Inventory (NBI) is a database, compiled by the Federal Highway Administration, with information on all bridges and tunnels in the United States that have roads passing above or below. This is similar to the grade crossing identifier number database compiled by the Federal Railroad Administration which identifies all railroad crossings. This bridge information includes the design of the bridge and the dimensions of the usable portion. The data is often used to analyze bridges and judge their conditions. The inventory is developed with the purpose of having a unified database for bridges to ensure the safety of the traveling public as required by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968. It includes identification information, bridge types and specifications, operational conditions, bridge data including geometric data and functional description, and inspection data. Any bridge more than 20 feet (6 meters) long used for vehicular traffic is included.

National Highway System (United States)

The National Highway System (NHS) is a network of strategic highways within the United States, including the Interstate Highway System and other roads serving major airports, ports, rail or truck terminals, railway stations, pipeline terminals and other strategic transport facilities. Altogether, it constitutes the largest highway system in the world.

Individual states are encouraged to focus federal funds on improving the efficiency and safety of this network. The roads within the system were identified by the United States Department of Transportation in cooperation with the states, local officials, and metropolitan planning organizations and approved by the United States Congress in 1995.

Research and Innovative Technology Administration

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is a unit of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). It was created in 2005 to advance transportation science, technology, and analysis, and to improve the coordination of transportation research within the department and throughout the transportation community.

RITA performs four basic functions:

Coordinates the USDOT's research and education programs

Shares advanced technologies with the transportation system

Offers transportation statistics and analysis for decision-making

Supports national efforts to improve education and training in transportation-related fieldsRITA has over 750 employees in Washington, at the Volpe Center (Cambridge, Massachusetts), and at the Transportation Safety Institute (Oklahoma City, OK).

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) is the agency of the United States Department of Transportation that operates and maintains the U.S.-owned and operated facilities of the joint United States-Canadian Saint Lawrence Seaway. It operates 2 of the 15 locks of the Seaway between Montreal and Lake Erie.

Its Canadian counterpart is the Saint Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, a non-profit corporation under Canadian law.

The current Administrator is Betty Sutton, a former Democratic U.S. Representative from Ohio.

United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation

The Deputy Secretary of Transportation, in the United States government, advises and assists the Secretary of Transportation in the supervision and direction of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Deputy Secretary would succeed the Secretary in his or her absence, sickness, or unavailability.

The Office of the Deputy Secretary is currently held by Jeffrey A. Rosen.

United States Maritime Administration

The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation.

Its programs promote the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. The Maritime Administration works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety. The Maritime Administration is also charged with maintaining the health of the merchant marine, since commercial mariners, vessels, and intermodal facilities are vital for supporting national security, and so the agency provides support and information for current mariners, extensive support for educating future mariners, and programs to educate America's young people about the vital role the maritime industry plays in the lives of all Americans.

MARAD also maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies, and assists the NDRF in fulfilling its role as the nation's fourth arm of defense, logistically supporting the military when needed.

United States Maritime Service

The United States Maritime Service (USMS) was established in 1938 under the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. The mission of the organization is to train people to become officers and crewmembers on merchant ships that form the United States Merchant Marine per Title 46 U.S. Code 51701. Heavily utilized during World War II, the USMS has since been largely dissolved and/or absorbed into other federal departments, but its commissioned officers continue to function as administrators and instructors at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the several maritime academies.

Agencies under the United States Department of Transportation
Deputy Secretary of Transportation
Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy
Current
Former

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