In mid-January, 2012, USDOT announced that UCTC had won the competition for the FY 2012 Region 9 University Transportation Center (UTC).
This follows an announcement in Fall 2011, that USDOT had opted not to continue funding University Transportation Centers across the country, including UCTC, and instead launched a new competition. All the UC campuses that had long been members of UCTC formed a new consortium, along with four California State University campuses, to comprise "UCTC 2.0."
See the Spring 2012 Director's Message for more information.
In 1987, the U.S. Department of Transportation established the University Transportation Centers Program to operate transportation centers in 10 Federal regions. Additional centers were named in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991 and in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998. The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act ( SAFETEA-LU) , enacted in 2005, is the most recent federal legislation supporting UTCs. SAFETEA-LU authorized up to $76.7 million per year from Federal FY2005-2009 funds for grants to establish and operate up to 60 University Transportation Centers (UTCs) throughout the United States. Twenty of these centers are at institutions selected through a 2006 competition, and 40 centers are at institutions named in the legislation
All of the UTCs carry out transportation education and research, attracting talent, resources, and facilities that develop the professional workforce and produce the scientific innovations needed for progress in transportation. UTCs also offer continuing education, conferences, and symposia to help practitioners stay abreast of new ideas, methods, and findings in the field of transportation.
The University of California Transportation Center (UCTC) successfully competed to be named the Region IX transportation center 20 years ago when the UTC program was first established. UCTC has successfully competed for Region IX UTC designation four times since then. The full listing of Regional Transportation Centers is as follows:
REGION 5 NEXTRANS
REGION 8 Mountain-Plains Consortium (MPC)
REGION 10 Transportation Northwest (TransNow)
In California, in addition to UCTC, four other UTCs have been established. Two have successfully competed for designation as Tier 1 UTCs:
University of Southern California and California State University, Long Beach—Metrans, the Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research
San Jose State University—the Mineta Transportation Institute.
Two other transportation centers were given Tier II UTC earmarks in SAFETEA-LU:
University-San Bernardino—the Leonard Transportation Center.
The California Department of Transportation matches all UTCs in the state dollar-for-dollar and partners with them on a variety of research, education, and tech transfer initiatives.