The newly formed University Transportation Center for Mobility (UTCM) at the Texas Transportation Institute is opening new doors for researchers and educators to pursue projects for mobility enhancement. Congestion management and mitigation, nationwide mobility, rural public transportation and infrastructure financing have far-reaching implications in the lives of every American. For this reason the UTCM is specifically targeting solutions to problems in these four areas of mobility.
“The UTCM is well on its way, having already established seven significant transportation projects totaling nearly $400,000,” says UTCM Director Melissa Tooley. The UTCM, for example, helped fund the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2007 Urban Mobility Report which will be released Sept. 18. Tooley is convinced that the Center’s work will help provide positive solutions to the nation’s mobility issues. “These problems impact nearly every aspect of society, including health care, recreation, education, goods manufacturing and delivery, and national security. We address mobility issues at national, regional and local levels to enhance the quality of life for all Americans.”
On Sept. 10, Tooley conducted the Center’s first in a series of mobility colloquia for transportation researchers, students and educators. These informal gatherings will facilitate discussion across the transportation community to identify problems and increase collaboration in developing research projects and transportation education courses. The first meeting acted as an introduction to the UTCM and provided information about the process for receiving funding for 2008 projects.
UTCM is one of 60 University Transportation Centers nationwide and was established by the passage of the 2005 U.S. transportation bill, SAFTEA-LU. The Center is the recipient of a four-year $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s University Transportation Centers Program.