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Rural Highway iconImproving the way that DOT engages with rural project sponsors can tangibly enhance the safety and economic competitiveness of transportation infrastructure projects throughout the country.  The new ROUTES initiative will work to provide rural project sponsors with pertinent and easy-to-use information about the Department’s infrastructure programs, to help overcome resource challenges that can be an impediment to competitive applications. The ROUTES Initiative was established by Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao in DOT Order 5050.1, signed October 28, 2019.

ROUTES Council

The ROUTES Council will lead the ROUTES Initiative, and coordinate rural-related efforts among the modal administrations. The Council comprises leaders from the Office of the Secretary, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Rural Transportation Infrastructure Management Team

The Rural Transportation Infrastructure Management Team supports the Rural Transportation Infrastructure Council by implementing the priorities established by the Council.  This includes sharing DOT rural resources with rural stakeholders and the public, and collecting their input to help improve DOT programs. The Team comprises staff from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy (OST-P), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), FAA, FHWA, FRA, and FTA.


The ROUTES Initiative began when Secretary Chao signed the Departmental Order on October 30, 2019. 

The ROUTES Council met on November 5th to begin reviewing applicable discretionary grant programs for transportation infrastructure.

Beginning in January, DOT staff will attend stakeholder conferences to hear from rural communities about their transportation infrastructure challenges and needs. 

Check back for periodic updates regarding the ROUTES Initiative. 


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Last updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020