Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES)
USDOT’s Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) initiative is designed to address disparities in rural transportation infrastructure. The primary purpose of ROUTES is to address the unique challenges to meet our nation’s safety and economic competitiveness goals by helping establish strong rural transportation networks.
Rural roads account for a significant proportion of total lane miles in the United States. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R) understands the transportation challenges rural areas face for ensuring safe and reliable transportation, moving people and goods to their destinations.
OST-R Rural Research and Technology Programs and Partners
- University Transportation Centers – several University Transportation Centers are focused on rural research and technology applications to address rural and tribal transportation issues. UTCs are located in almost every state.
- SMART Grants – the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) discretionary grant program provides grants to conduct demonstration projects focused on advanced smart community technologies and systems to improve transportation efficiency and safety. Rural communities and Federally recognized Tribes are eligible. Up to 30 percent of SMART grants will primarily benefit rural communities or regional partnerships.
- Rural Intelligent Transportation Systems Toolkit – the Rural ITS toolkit is a series of 42 rural transportation critical need fact sheets identifying how ITS applications may help address rural transportation needs. The Toolkit is maintained National Center for Rural Road Safety, funded by the Federal Highway Administration.
- Transportation Research Board – the Transportation Research Boards (TRB) of the National Academies conducts rural transportation research as part of a broader research portfolio, and can assist in providing rural research results. OST-R partnered with TRB to produce the 2022 research report, Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap.
DOT Grants for Rural Transportation
Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Highway Administration
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Federal Railroad Administration
Federal Transit Administration
Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Consistent with the Department's ROUTES initiative, the Department encourages applicants to propose enforcement activities in their application which address the unique challenges facing rural transportation networks. Visit https://www.transportation.gov/rural for more information.
Additional resources: https://www.transportation.gov/rural/other-dot-resources