Another $7.5 million in federal transportation funding will soon find its way to University of South Florida.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced the new grant from the Department of Transportation. The funding will go to USF to establish the University Transportation Center.
“The Tampa Bay area is home to some of the brightest and most creative minds, with the University of South Florida standing as a shining example,” Crist said.
“I am thrilled that the Department of Transportation selected USF for this prestigious grant. I look forward to visiting the transportation center and learning about innovative ways to address our region’s transportation and traffic challenges.
“… Let’s fix it! Go Bulls!”
USF officials on Wednesday announced the school had been selected from 50 applicants nationwide to receive the award. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Miami Republican, also worked to secure the award.
“This is great news for the University of South Florida! Infrastructure is the foundation of this nation. I applaud the work USF is doing to address critical transportation challenges,” Rubio said.
“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am proud to have helped USF secure this $7.5 million grant to establish a national university transportation center aimed at advancing research and education programs that address the nation’s critical transportation challenges.”
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the funding would go to critical research aiding efforts nationwide.
“These investments in transportation research will help address our country’s congestion and durability challenges,” Chao said.
A new program at USF, known as the National Institute for Congestion Reduction, will get established with the university’s College of Engineering’s existing College for Urban Transportation Research.
“As a Preeminent research university located in the heart of the metropolitan Tampa Bay area, the University of South Florida has always been focused on the unique issues and challenges facing modern American cities,” USF President Judy Genshaft said.
“This designation is an affirmation of our leadership in this kind of meaningful applied research and, along with our partners, will allow us to make an even bigger impact.”
USF will partner with the University of California Berkeley, Texas A&M University and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez on research.
The UTC program will be the only national center focused specifically on congestion research.
State officials expressed excitement the word would be done in the Sunshine State.
““FDOT [Florida Department of Transportation] is pleased to continue to work with USF along with all other Florida universities, aiming to improve safety, reduce congestion and expand the use of technology and partnerships,” said state Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault.
“We hope that the impacts of these coordinated activities will be felt by the transportation industry, agencies and practitioners long after the life cycle of this grant is completed.”