United States Department of Transportation

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United States Department of Transportation
Seal of the United States Department of Transportation.svg
Seal of the department
Flag of the United States Department of Transportation.svg
Flag of the department
Usdot headquarters.jpg
Headquarters of the U.S. Department of Transportation
Department overview
FormedApril 1, 1967;53 years ago (1967-04-01)
Jurisdiction United States of America
Headquarters1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C.
38°52′32.92″N77°0′10.26″W / 38.8758111°N 77.0028500°W / 38.8758111; -77.0028500 Coordinates: 38°52′32.92″N77°0′10.26″W / 38.8758111°N 77.0028500°W / 38.8758111; -77.0028500
Annual budget$72.4 billion USD (FY2015, enacted) [1]
Department executive
  • Vacant
Child agencies
Website www.transportation.gov OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
The seal of the U.S. Department of Transportation prior to 1980. Seal of the United States Department of Transportation (1980).svg
The seal of the U.S. Department of Transportation prior to 1980.
The flag of the U.S. Department of Transportation prior to 1980. Flag of the United States Department of Transportation (1967-1980).png
The flag of the U.S. Department of Transportation prior to 1980.

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or DOT) is a federal Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation. It was established by the Department of Transportation Act [2] of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967. The Secretary of Transportation is the head of DOT.


The department's mission is "to develop and coordinate policies that will provide an efficient and economical national transportation system, with due regard for need, the environment, and the national defense." [2]


Prior to the Department of Transportation, the functions now associated with the DOT were administered the Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency – the future Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – suggested to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that transportation be elevated to a cabinet-level post, and that the FAA be folded into the DOT. [3] The idea of having a federal department of transportation was first proposed by former President Woodrow Wilson in 1921–22. [4]


Former Administrations


In 2012, the DOT awarded $742.5 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 11 transit projects. The awardees include light rail projects. Other projects include both a commuter rail extension and a subway project in New York City, and a bus rapid transit system in Springfield, Oregon. The funds subsidize a heavy rail project in northern Virginia, completing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metro Silver Line to connect Washington, D.C., and the Washington Dulles International Airport. [5] (DOT had previously agreed to subsidize the Silver Line construction to Reston, Virginia.) [6]

President Barack Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2010 also included $1.83 billion in funding for major transit projects, of which more than $600 million went towards 10 new or expanding transit projects. The budget provided additional funding for all of the projects currently receiving Recovery Act funding, except for the bus rapid transit project. It also continued funding for another 18 transit projects that are either currently under construction or soon will be. [5] Following the same, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 delegated $600 million for Infrastructure Investments, referred to as Discretionary Grants.

The Department of Transportation was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2016 of $75.1 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: [7]

AdministrationFunding (in millions)Employees (FTE)
Federal Aviation Administration$16,280.745,988
Federal Highway Administration$43,049.72,782
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration$580.41,175
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration$869.0639
Federal Transit Administration$11,782.6585
Federal Railroad Administration$1,699.2934
Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration$249.6575
Maritime Administration$399.3835
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation$28.4144
Office of the Secretary$935.41,284
Office of the Inspector General$87.5413

Freedom of Information Act processing performance

In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of 15 federal agencies which receive the most Freedom of Information Act FOIA requests, published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the Department of Transportation earned a D by scoring 65 out of a possible 100 points, i.e. did not earn a satisfactory overall grade. [9]

See also

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  1. FY 2017 Department of Transportation Budget Request Archived April 29, 2017, at the Wayback Machine , pg 7, United States Department of Transportation, Accessed October 25, 2017
  2. 1 2 Grinder, R. Dale. "The United States Department of Transportation: A Brief History". U.S. Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on July 17, 2004. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
  3. "US Department of Transportation, History". National Transportation Library. March 1, 2009. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012.
  4. Ware, Susan; Berg, Scott (December 2003). "The Hepburn Enigma". The Women's Review of Books. 21 (3): 20. doi:10.2307/4024203. ISSN   0738-1433. JSTOR   4024203.
  5. 1 2 "DOT Awards $742.5 Million in Recovery Act Funds to 11 Transit Projects". EERE Network News. May 13, 2009. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  6. "Annual Report on Funding Recommendations – Fiscal Year 2010" (PDF). U.S. Department of Transportation. April 29, 2009. pp. A-75 (101) & seq. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
  7. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 29, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "Profile Showing the Grades upon the Different Routes Surveyed for the Union Pacific Rail Road Between the Missouri River and the Valley of the Platte River". World Digital Library . 1865. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  9. Making the Grade: Access to Information Scorecard 2015 Archived March 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine March 2015, 80 pages, Center for Effective Government, retrieved March 21, 2016

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from websites or documents ofthe United States Department of Transportation .