UIC Urban Transportation Center Wins Federal Research Grants
UTC Major Partner in Three Federal University Transportation Center Awards


January 17, 2012


The Urban Transportation Center (UTC) at UIC is pleased to announce its participation in two of the twenty-two research grants recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The $77 million grant program — involving a total of 121 different universities — aims to advance research and education programs that address the nation’s critical transportation challenges. UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman said that the Center’s federal designation “is an affirmation of the UTC's 30-plus years of research work on urban transportation issues affecting the Chicago region, Illinois, and the nation.” This grant program will support the formation of 22 federally designated consortia of University Transportation Centers, nationally.


The Urban Transportation Center at UIC will join a consortium led by the University of South Florida’s National Center for Transit Research, which is one of only two University Transportation Center grant recipients nationwide that is designated to work on transit research. UIC has been guaranteed $700,000 of the $3.5 million federal grant to the University of South Florida, with a $700,000 matching grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation. With these funds, work at UIC will continue some of the ongoing research into public transportation issues as well as start new research in the areas of transit safety, maintenance, competitiveness, livability, and environmental stability in the Chicago region, the state of Illinois, and nationwide.


In addition, UTC at UIC will be working with a multi-university consortium—led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—to establish a rail transportation and engineering research center. The National University Rail (NURail) Center will be headquartered at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and will have the distinction of being the country’s first University Transportation Center with a theme of rail engineering and technology.


UIC is also a participant in a third UTC consortium led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison that will focus on freight and infrastructure research.  The staff and faculty affiliated with UTC at UIC are appreciative of this recognition and will continue to make significant contributions in their respective areas of specialization as part of these newly formed collaborative partnerships.

University of Illinois President Michael Hogan said, “The University of Illinois is very thankful for the support of Governor Pat Quinn and our state Congressional leadership, in helping us win these grants. Illinois has the nation’s best programs in rail engineering and transit system development and operation, and these UTCs will help the nation and region prepare for future freight and passenger rail needs.”