Mineta Transportation Institute at SJSU Awarded $15 Million in Funding for Transportation Research

by | Feb 23, 2023 | Awards and Achievements, Research and Innovation

Funding secured by the Mineta Transportation Institute will support research projects focused on efforts to broaden participation in our nation’s transportation systems and workforce, especially with traditionally underserved communities

The Mineta Consortium for Equitable, Efficient, and Sustainable Transportation, led by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University (SJSU), was awarded $10 million in federal funding this week through the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) University Transportation Center (UTC) Program for transportation research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer activities. Matching funds from regional and state partners, including Caltrans, bring the grant five-year total to $15 million. 

The funding is part of the USDOT announcement of up to $435 million in grant awards for 34 UTCs working on the next generation of transportation innovations for roads, bridges, rail, transit, and advanced air mobility. 

MTI Executive Director Karen Philbrick said that the grant upholds the significant contributions MTI and the Consortium partners have made to the nation’s transportation system over the past 30 years. 

“We are honored to be recognized for our work that addresses the complex nature of today’s mobility challenges, and advances the body of usable transportation knowledge,” said Philbrick.

In addition to SJSU, the Consortium brings together a diverse set of university partners, including Howard University, Navajo Technical University, and the University of South Florida, to focus on improving the mobility of people and goods to ensure our nation’s transportation system is safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient for all. An interactive map depicting all the UTCs can be found here. Awards invest in research, workforce development programs with colleges and universities around the U.S., including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Tribal colleges, and community colleges. 

Through these awards, the USDOT will fund innovative research and training for the next generation of transportation leaders. USDOT received 230 applications as part of the competition, with 34 grantees selected. MTI research projects will focus on efforts to broaden participation in our nation’s transportation systems and workforce, especially with traditionally underserved communities. Projects will use data and public opinion to inform policy, infrastructure, and technology and will also focus on reducing the impact of transportation on climate change and building a more resilient supply chain to withstand negative effects of a shifting climate.  

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla said, “With a state as big and economically diverse as California, I am proud to have worked to secure $10 million in federal funding made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help San José State University’s Mineta Transportation Institute lead a national center focused on improving the mobility of people and goods. I’ll continue working to support programs that create opportunities for innovative education research and workforce development to ensure that our transportation systems are safe, efficient, and accessible.”  

In a joint statement, U.S. representatives Zoe Logren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, and Jimmy Panetta said, “We worked on and voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law because we know that investments in cleaner, safer, and more efficient transportation options are badly needed. Funding the Mineta Consortium is a smart investment for our country’s future. As the Consortium brings together some of the best research, education, workforce development, and technological programs from around the country, we look forward to seeing what real-world solutions they find for some of the nation’s transportation challenges.”

The four U.S. Representatives sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg calling for funding for the Consortium in August 2022.

Information on Mineta Transportation Institute: Founded in 1991, the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), an organized research and training unit in partnership with the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business at San José State University (SJSU), increases mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nation’s transportation system. Through research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer, we help create a connected world.  

Information on the UTC Program: DOT invests in the future of transportation through its University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program, which awards and administers grants to consortia of colleges and universities across the United States. The UTC Program advances the state-of-the-art in transportation research and technology, and develops the next generation of transportation professionals. The Congressionally-mandated program has been in place since 1987 to help address our Nation’s ever-growing need for the safe, efficient, and environmentally sound movement of people and goods.