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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Mission, Vision, Values and Goals

FTA’s mission is to improve America’s communities through public transportation. We envision a better quality of life for all built on public transportation excellence.


FTA Values Graphic

Our values express how we accomplish what we do at FTA, as well as the spirit we bring to our work. As we implement our policies, programs and initiatives and serve the nation’s transit systems, we rely on our culture of service, integrity, innovation, sustainability and equity. 

  • The first of these values is service; it is number 1 on our list and at the heart of FTA’s work. We provide reliable, transparent, and responsive service to our grant recipients and the public. Federally supported transit agencies provide communities with access to jobs, schools, healthcare, and other opportunities and essential services. FTA anticipates ways to meet stakeholder needs and strives to provide excellent service to all.
  • FTA fosters trust by bringing integrity to funding and oversight programs, guidance, technical assistance, and training activities. We prioritize transparency to the greatest extent possible.
  • Public transportation increases equity. Transit systems revitalize local economies and help people access opportunity and transform their lives. At FTA, we are committed to removing social, economic, and physical barriers to increase everyone’s access to all aspects of economic, social, and civic life.
  • Innovation is central to FTA’s work as we support development of new technology and processes to support safer, greener, and more equitable transit systems. We foster innovative approaches and partner with transit agencies and advocates to promote research, innovation, and demonstration of new technologies.
  • When making decisions, FTA focuses on sustainability to ensure long term benefits. We practice good stewardship that supports our workforce and our industry.


FTA’s strategic goals reflect the broad, long-term outcomes we pursue to advance our mission.

Enhance Safety

While transit is already one of the safest modes of transportation, FTA is committed to improving safety even further. FTA provides safety oversight and technical assistance that strengthen our recipients’ safety culture and practices. This improves safety for riders and patrons who use transit, workers who maintain and operate transit, and pedestrians and others who interact with transit.

Build Resiliency

FTA works to renew transit systems and increase the resiliency of those systems into the future. Public transportation is an essential component of American communities of all sizes, from tribal and rural communities to our largest cities. So that transit can continue to fulfill this critical role, FTA works to reduce the state of good repair backlog, increase the resiliency of infrastructure, and sustain maintenance and operations going forward.

Increase Sustainability

FTA supports transit investments and infrastructure designs that address climate change, reduce harmful environmental impacts, and make long-term positive impacts on the environment. Novel technologies are shifting the transit industry away from fossil fuels and toward low- and no-emission vehicles and clean fuels. FTA works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from environmental impacts of transit construction and operations.

Improve Equity

FTA supports transit investments that address disparities in access to opportunity and services. Every community includes persons who, due to age, income level, or disability, cannot rely upon automobile travel to meet their mobility needs. All Americans deserve quality transit service that provides mobility to meet basic needs.

Connect Communities

FTA works to expand high quality transit services that connect people and build communities in both urban and rural underserved communities. When transit is fast, frequent, and reliable, people are connected with one another and with new opportunities. Together, they build thriving communities and world-class cities.