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Ohio State chosen to lead U.S. transportation solutions over next three decades
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced this week that The Ohio State University has been named one of 18 institutions across the country to lead research on transportation challenges outlined in the Department of Transportation’s Beyond Traffic 2045 report.
As a Beyond Traffic Innovation Center, Ohio State is recognized as a forward-thinking and influential institution capable of driving solutions to these challenges by convening decision-makers in the Great Lakes megaregion and coordinating related research, curriculum, outreach and other activities. Due to its location in the center of the country, the Great Lakes megaregion sits at the heart of the U.S. transportation network.
“In the next 30 years, our country will have 70 million more people competing for the use of our roads, transit and rail networks, and airports, and we are going to have to make some big choices about how we fund and prioritize transportation,” Secretary Foxx said in a statement. “The Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers will bring together researchers, students and thought leaders to develop the ideas we need to keep Americans moving and build a transportation system that works for everyone.”
Ohio State boasts a comprehensive array of transportation and mobility expertise. Industry and government entities often access the capabilities and resources within its Center for Automotive Research, Center for Aviation Studies, Driving Simulation Laboratory and City and Regional Planning department. The College of Engineering also oversees management and operation of the largest independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds in the U.S., the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in East Liberty, Ohio.
Ohio State researchers and facilities also were instrumental in its hometown of Columbus being named the Department of Transportation’s Smart City last summer. Along with the title comes $40 million in federal funds to fully integrate innovative technologies into the transportation network.
“Being designated as a Beyond Traffic Innovation Center allows Ohio State to be a critical part of the mobility disruption in our nation,” said Carla Bailo, assistant vice president for mobility research and business development. “We will be on the leading edge of research and innovation to lead our nation into a new era of mobility solutions.”
Beyond Traffic 2045 was the product of more than two years of research and study by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). A draft of the report, published in February 2015, was downloaded over 500,000 times from the USDOT website, and the agency received thousands of comments from the public through workshops, webinars, and online feedback. Secretary Foxx and USDOT leaders also held public meetings in eleven cities across the country in late 2015 to explore the challenges facing each of the emerging megaregions.