Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES)
The ROUTES Initiative is...
- Engaging with stakeholders through listening sessions, requests for information (RFIs), and other events to gather feedback on rural infrastructure project needs and challenges
- Collecting data and analyzing trends to better assess needs and benefits of rural transportation infrastructure projects, particularly related to enhancing safety and sparking economic growth in rural communities
- Providing user-friendly information and technical assistance to assist stakeholders in understanding funding opportunities and applying for USDOT discretionary grants
The Rural Transportation Network is Critical for Our Economy
Rural transportation networks are critically important for domestic production and export of agriculture, mining, and energy commodities, as well as the quality of life for all Americans.
Two-thirds of rail freight originates in rural areas, and nearly half of all truck vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) occur on rural roads. These industries require heavy trucks that create significantly more wear-and-tear on roadways.
Ninety percent of posted (limited weight) bridges are in rural areas and heavy trucks cannot cross posted bridges – to find a safe bridge, heavy trucks hauling in rural areas must traverse three-times the distance as in metro areas.
Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Highway Information Management, Highway Statistics, table HM-60, available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics.cfm; United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 5-Year Estimates, 2018.
While only 19% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, 45% of all roadway fatalities and 34% of all public highway-rail grade crossing fatalities occur on rural roads, and the fatality rate on rural roads is 2 times higher than on urban roads.
Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Annual Vehicle Distance Traveled in Miles and Related Data, 2017-2018; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 2018.