University receives share of $7 million in grants to further research into nation’s freight, transit systems

March 5, 2012 | News, UToday
By Nicolette Jett

UT’s University Transportation Center will receive a share of two grants worth $7 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of $77 million awarded nationally for research and education.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration used a competitive selection process to select 10 Tier 1 University Transportation Centers to receive the funding.

The grants will support specific areas of study — truck, rail, waterway, air, and multimodal freight planning, management and operations — and advance U.S. transportation technology and expertise in research, education and technology transfer.

“The research grants are another important way UT is helping to be part of the community,” said Diane Miller, UT executive director of federal relations. “Our representation as a transportation hub is important to the region and as an interdisciplinary center for UT.”

UT’s University Transportation Center was established seven years ago with the assistance of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who added the University to the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users of 2005. The act established it as a Tier II University Transportation Center; since that time, UT has excelled and become a Center of Excellence in Transportation and Logistics. Because of its standing, UT had the opportunity to become a member of a Tier I University Transportation Center consortium.

“Tier I status is very competitive and the application process is extensive,” said Rich Martinko, director of UT’s University Transportation Center. “We are honored because it is such a huge accomplishment to achieve Tier I status and it validates the hard work and projects that have been implemented as a result of our research.”

Since UT participates in two consortia, the center will have access to grants led by the University of Wisconsin (freight research) and San Jose University (transit research). The grants will fund research, outreach and education on multimodal freight and transit systems.

“I would like to thank UT President Lloyd Jacobs for his continuous support of our initiative and the many team members from the colleges of Engineering, Business and Innovation, and Languages, Literature and Social Sciences. I especially want to highlight the contributions of Dr. Peter Lindquist and his team for their role in our University Transportation Center success,” Martinko said.

The UT center is the only Tier I Logistics University Transportation Center in Ohio.

“I am so delighted that the University competed for and was awarded these two prestigious grants. It will advance the University to the cutting edge of innovation as our nation develops transportation systems for the 21st century and beyond,” Kaptur said. “The University of Toledo has again demonstrated its national leadership in the transportation community.”

For more information on UT’s University Transportation Center, visit

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