University Transportation Research Center, Region 2: Annual Report

Posted by Content Coordinator on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014



“Planning and Managing Regional Transportation Systems in a Changing World”

utrcUTRC’s primary focus is the stewardship, management, and future evolution of its already mature transportation systems, in the face of emerging policy challenges. The region’s transportation agencies must continually adjust to the nature of the economy and its evolving transportation requirements; their emerging understanding of what is required to protect public safety and security; and new challenges, such as global climate change. As advances in technology continually redraw the boundaries of what is possible, transportation agencies also face the daunting challenge of revisiting how they define their missions, serve the public and conduct their routine business. Because this region has historically faced so many transportation challenges, it has a tradition of innovation in transportation. Yet as the early solutions it adopts become institutionalized, it tends to be slow to absorb and implement lessons from innovators elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad, and thus often falls behind the curve. To become a region that can plan and manage its systems effectively in the face of change, it must become more dynamic in its approaches to the management of information and technology.

PLANNING TODAY in Region 2, requires knowledge of multi-modal and intermodal systems serving both freight and passenger movements. Planning in the region involves not only MPOs, but all of the many agencies taxed with the need to move people and goods 24/7. Planning is constrained by institutional mandate and history, the need to catch up with a backlog of capital needs, and a chronic shortage of adequate funds for both maintaining and building the infrastructure. UTRC’s role is to provide through academic programs, a solid base on which planning decisions can be made; yet UTRC has the capability to provide “instantaneous programs” in response to critical needs (such as the conference organized for New York State on public-private partnerships).

MANAGING TODAY in Region 2, means knowledge of interaction among complex multi-modal systems, budgeting, system operations and performance targets, customer needs, the need to address security, and – when fighting fires stops – a sense of vision of system performance and regional change. Management takes place at every level: from Board Chairpersons to line operators. UTRC has initiated and will develop programs ranging from Authority Board Member Training, to training in high technology for Transit workers. UTRC will develop a major training program for the New York City MPO addressing technical issues and management. UTRC is also part of the national group of UTCs that will develop online leadership courses for the profession as a whole.

RESPONSES TO CHANGE as the world changes, the demands on the transportation system change as well. Tomorrow’s transportation systems will need to be more secure, more resilient to natural hazards, less damaging to the environment, and better able to use available capacity efficiently. Emerging transportation systems rely on real time technology and rapid transfer of operational information. UTRC will partner with leaders in innovation and deployment, including research labs and private firms. UTRC, through its continuing national leadership on new paradigms in transportation management, will continue to integrate technology into transportation systems. This is also an era of meeting financial needs through new – and proven – fiscal approaches, many of which include Public-Private Partnerships. UTRC’s strong economic capability has made national (and international) impacts and will be used to assist regional agencies to address investment impacts. The institutions that have traditionally operated the regional assets must, themselves, begin to change. They must think multimodally, with integrated operating systems. UTRC, with its strategic capability, can assist the regional agencies (and be a model for national success) in organizational change responsive to new missions.



Awarded $5.2 million from U.S. Department of Transportation, $20 million from two New York State agencies

The University Transportation Research Center, Region 2, (UTRC) based at The City College of New York, reports that it has received more than $25 million in new federal and state funding:

  • $5.2 million for 2013 and 2014 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) through the Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s (RITA) University Transportation Center (UTC) program.
  • $10 million over five years from the New York State Department of Transportation.
  • $10 million over five years from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council.

Among the projects the grants will support are:

  • Studying the impact of transportation systems on the regional dynamics, competitiveness and structural changes of economies;
  • Developing and evaluating new mechanisms for financing transportation infrastructure and operations;
  • Promoting freight productivity, efficiency, and sustainability through multi-modal policy, planning and logistics;
  • Developing infrastructure monitoring systems to enhance infrastructure inspection and management to ensure a state of good repair;
  • Promoting safe, secure, livable and sustainable communities through quality of life improvements and diverse transportation development.

The center’s research focus under the federal grant will be economic competitiveness. It was one of 33 awardees out of 142 applicants in the 2013 round of USDOT funding. The awards from the New York State Department of Transportation and New York Metropolitan Transportation Council are renewals of existing contracts.

Download full version (PDF): University Transportation Research Center Region 2 Annual Report 2013

About the The Region 2 University Transportation Research Center (UTRC)
“The Region 2 University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) is one of ten original University Transportation Centers established in 1987 by the U.S. Congress. These Centers were established with the recognition that transportation plays a key role in the nation’s economy and the quality of life of its citizens. University faculty members provide a critical link in resolving our national and regional transportation problems while training the professionals who address our transportation systems and their customers on a daily basis. “ – See more at:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr


Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!


What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.


The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.