Seal of the department
Flag of the department
Headquarters of the U.S. Department of Transportation
|Formed||April 1, 1967|
|Jurisdiction||United States of America|
|Headquarters||1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C. |
|Annual budget||$72.4 billion USD (FY2015, enacted)|
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 Actof 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."
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.The idea of having a federal department of transportation was first proposed by former President Woodrow Wilson in 1921–22.
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.(DOT had previously agreed to subsidize the Silver Line construction to Reston, Virginia.)
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.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:
|Administration||Funding (in millions)||Employees (FTE)|
|Federal Aviation Administration||$16,280.7||45,988|
|Federal Highway Administration||$43,049.7||2,782|
|Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration||$580.4||1,175|
|National Highway Traffic Safety Administration||$869.0||639|
|Federal Transit Administration||$11,782.6||585|
|Federal Railroad Administration||$1,699.2||934|
|Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration||$249.6||575|
|Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation||$28.4||144|
|Office of the Secretary||$935.4||1,284|
|Office of the Inspector General||$87.5||413|
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.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the largest modern transportation agency and a governmental body of the United States with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in that nation as well as over its surrounding international waters. Its powers include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles. Powers over neighboring international waters were delegated to the FAA by authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine accidents, pipeline incidents, and railroad accidents. When requested, the NTSB will assist the military and foreign governments with accident investigation. The NTSB is also in charge of investigating cases of hazardous materials releases that occur during transportation. The agency is based in Washington, D.C. It has four regional offices, located in Anchorage, Alaska; Denver, Colorado; Ashburn, Virginia; and Seattle, Washington. The agency also operates a national training center at its Ashburn facility.
Transportation in the United States is facilitated by road, air, rail, and waterways. The vast majority of passenger travel occurs by automobile for shorter distances, and airplane for longer distances. In descending order, most cargoes travel by railroad, truck, pipeline, or boat; air shipping is typically used only for perishables and premium express shipments. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions by the United States.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 is legislation enacted by the United States Congress and signed into law on August 13, 1973, which provided funding for existing interstate and new urban and rural primary and secondary roads in the United States. It also funded a highway safety improvement program, and permitted states for the first time in U.S. history to use Highway Trust Fund money for mass transit. The law also established the first national speed limit.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is the organization in charge of developing and maintaining all state and federal roadways in the U.S. state of Georgia. In addition to highways, the department also has a limited role in developing public transportation and general aviation programs. GDOT is headquartered in downtown Atlanta and is part of the executive branch of state government.
The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) is a United States federal law enforcement agency under the supervision of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) oversees transportation issues in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The administrator of PennDOT is the Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation, currently Yassmin Gramian. Presently, PennDOT supports over 40,500 miles (65,200 km) of state roads and highways, about 25,000 bridges, as well as new roadway construction, the exception being the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, although they currently follow PennDOT policies and procedures. In addition, other modes of transportation are supervised or supported by PennDOT. These include aviation, rail traffic, mass transit, intrastate highway shipping traffic, motor vehicle safety & licensing, and driver licensing. PennDOT also supports the Ports of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Erie. The current budget is approximately $3.8 billion in federal and state funds. The state budget is supported by the motor vehicle fuels tax which is dedicated solely to transportation issues.
The National Highway System (NHS) is a network of strategic highways within the United States, including the Interstate Highway System and other roads serving major airports, ports, rail or truck terminals, railway stations, pipeline terminals and other strategic transport facilities. Altogether, it constitutes the largest highway system in the world.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is an independent airport authority, created with the consent of the United States Congress to oversee management, operations, and capital development of the two major airports serving the U.S. national capital: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) oversees roads, public transit, aeronautics, and transportation licensing and registration in the US state of Massachusetts. It was created on November 1, 2009 by the 186th Session of the Massachusetts General Court upon enactment of the 2009 Transportation Reform Act.
Sensitive Security Information (SSI) is a category of sensitive but unclassified information under the United States government's information sharing and control rules. SSI is information obtained in the conduct of security activities whose public disclosure would, in the judgement of specified government agencies, harm transportation security, be an unwarranted invasion of privacy, or reveal trade secrets or privileged or confidential information. SSI is governed by Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 15 and 1520.
The Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century is a United States federal law, signed on 5 April 2000, seeking to improve airline safety. It is popularly called "AIR 21," and is also known as Public Law 106-181.
The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is a governmental agency in the U.S. state of Montana, responsible for numerous programs related to the construction, maintenance, and monitoring of Montana's transportation infrastructure and operations. While most of MDT's programs relate to the state's highway network, Montana's railroads and airports are also under the agency's purview.
Sensitive Security Information or SSI is a term used in the United States to denote sensitive but unclassified information obtained or developed in the conduct of security activities, the public disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, reveal trade secrets or privileged or confidential information, or be detrimental to the security of transportation. It is not a form of classification under Executive Order 12958 as amended. SSI is not classified national security information in the sense of Top Secret, Secret or Confidential. The safeguarding and sharing of SSI is governed by Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 15 and 1520. This designation is assigned to information to limit the exposure of the information to only those individuals that "need to know" in order to participate in or oversee the protection of the nation's transportation system. Those with a need to know can include persons outside of TSA, such as airport operators, aircraft operators, railroad carriers, rail hazardous materials shippers and receivers, vessel and maritime port owners and operators, foreign vessel owners, and other persons.
The United States has an extensive air transportation network. In 2013, there were 86 airports in the U.S. that annually handled over 1,000,000 passengers each and twelve of the world's thirty busiest airports by passenger volume in 2014 were in the U.S., including the world's busiest, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In 2012, 88% of all traffic was through the 62 busiest airports in the country. In terms of cargo, in 2015, eight of the world's thirty busiest airports were in the U.S., including the world's second busiest, Memphis International Airport, behind only Hong Kong International Airport in China. Private aircraft are also used for medical emergencies, government agencies, large businesses, and individuals, see general aviation.
A Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team, sometimes Visible Intermodal Protection and Response (VIPR) is a Transportation Security Administration program. Various government sources have differing descriptions of VIPR's exact mission. It is specifically authorized bywhich says that the program is to "augment the security of any mode of transportation at any location within the United States". Authority for the program is under the Secretary of Homeland Security. The program falls under TSA's Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service. TSA OLE/FAMS shares responsibility for the program with the Office of Security Operations and Transportation Sector Network Management.
The Surface and Air Transportation Program Extension Act of 2011 became a United States law when President Barack Obama signed the Act on September 16, 2011 (Public Law No. 112-30. The law extends taxes which fund federal highway expenditures through March and the Federal Aviation Administration through January. The Surface and Air Transportation Programs Extension Act of 2011 is a direct result of an agreement which was reached by the House and Senate majority leaders. This extension act was a top priority to Congress because federal highway and FAA funding was about to expire.
Public service law in the United States is the body of law, primarily based on a multitude of statutes, which establishes and organizes the delivery of public services in the United States.
Section 165 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 is a section of the larger STAA that deals with purchases related to rail or road transportation. Unlike the similarly titled Buy American Act (1933), the Buy America Act applies only to purchases related to rail or road transportation, such as the construction of highways, railways, or rapid transit systems. The 1982 provisions also apply to purchases made by third-party agencies, using funds granted by agencies within the United States Department of Transportation.
The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 is an appropriations bill that would provide funding for the United States Department of Transportation and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for fiscal year 2015.
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This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents ofthe United States Department of Transportation .