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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

FTA 5-Year Research Strategic Plan National Online Dialogue

Today’s mobility options are dramatically shifting, in part due to an aging population, communities becoming more diverse, and more young people postponing getting a license or owning a car.

New tools like smart phones and other advanced technologies are making it easier to schedule and deliver rides. Shared mobility options increasingly complement and expand transportation options, often improving connections to public transportation systems. At the same time, public transportation systems continue to confront enormous investment challenges to achieve maintenance and safety targets and service levels. For the past three years, FTA’s research program has focused on mobility, asset management/asset innovation, and safety.

As FTA drafts its 5-year research strategic plan, we invite you to participate and lend your ideas to inform FTA’s research priorities. The research strategic plan will establish a framework to guide how FTA prioritizes and invests in research activities over the next several years. It will set the stage for what types of research FTA should support and highlight pathways for translating proven research solutions incorporating research results into new and better ways of doing business. For example, years of investment in the National Fuel Cell Bus Program led to several rounds of low or no-emission bus technology deployment and in 2016, the agency established an annual grants program with dedicated funding for new technology buses.

Visit our online dialogue to post an idea; review, comment, and vote on others’ input; and provide specific feedback to our questions.


FTA works to improve America’s communities through public transportation. Our vision is to ensure that the U.S. has world-class public transportation that provides access and mobility for all.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is developing a Departmental-level, five-year transportation research and development (R&D) strategic plan to guide future Federal transportation R&D activities. DOT’s five-year authorizing legislation – the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act – states that the strategic plan shall "describe how the plan furthers the primary purpose of the transportation research and development program." (See Section 6019 of the FAST Act; Pub. L. 114-94; December 4, 2015; codified at 49 U.S.C. 6503.)

FTA is building upon the Departmental five-year plan by crafting an agency-focused research strategic plan to set investment priorities and guide funding decisions at FTA associated with advancing innovative public transportation research and development – our charge from the FAST Act.

The national online dialogue will be open from August 1 to September 8, 2016. Please participate – your voice can make a difference!

Last updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016