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Federal Government Approves $16 million for Transportation Center at Portland State University
Author: Erin Malecha Arias (503-725-8794) Office of Marketing and Communications
Posted: July 28, 2005
Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) informed Portland State University yesterday that $16 million for the Center for Transportation Studies is included in the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), reauthorization conference bill (H.R. 3) approved by a joint House/Senate conference committee. Following approval by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, the bill goes to President George W. Bush for signature.


“This is an affirmation of the research work done by PSU faculty in both the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Urban and Public Affairs. It also recognizes Portland State’s commitment to partner with research faculty at OUS institutions,” said Daniel O. Bernstine, Portland State University President. “Special thanks go to Congressman DeFazio who led the delegation's efforts in the conference committee and worked to secure the significant amount of funds for this project. I also want to thank Congressman Blumenauer, who was a member of the conference committee, as well as all the members of the Oregon delegation who supported this request. Their collective efforts to support research at OUS institutions in transportation will make a difference to our students and faculty, as well as result in improvements to Oregon’s transportation and transit systems.”

SAFETEA-LU is a $286.5 billion reauthorization of federal highway, public transportation, highway safety and motor carrier safety programs for six years, from fiscal years 2004 through 2009. $16 million of the bill is designated to fund the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) at Portland State University in collaboration with the University of Oregon (U of O), Oregon State University (OSU) and Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT). The Center will receive $2 million in 2005 and $3.5 million each year after that through 2009 for transportation research, education and outreach programs. This request was supported by JPACT (Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation) and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

“I am pleased to secure funding for such a worthy project. Portland State University will lead the U of O, OSU and OIT in a unique partnership to conduct research on transportation and transit systems. Their research will be critical to federal, state and local officials in planning and enhancing our transportation systems and in turn improving our national economy,” said Congressman Peter DeFazio. “The overall funding through this legislation will invest money Americans have paid at the pump to create tens of thousands of jobs, putting Americans to work to improve the nation's bridges, roads, highways, and mass transit. Most importantly, it will not increase the federal debt.”

Expanded research, education and outreach work performed by the CTS will continue to focus on Oregon’s unique collaborative approach to planning and implementation of transportation systems that focus on linkages between land use, livability and growth. PSU will develop these programs in collaboration with faculty at U of O, OSU and OIT to provide policy makers with the research results that are closely linked with transportation agency research needs, and will focus on effective transportation strategies, policies, and programs. This collaborative approach will be a unique aspect of the Center and will mirror the collaborative work done by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the regional and local transportation agencies.

“The Center for Transportation Studies will be an invaluable tool for policy makers working on issues such as land use, livability and growth," said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. "I'm pleased that we were able to finally make this project a reality.”

“This transportation center recognizes the national and international work done at Portland State University in urban development, transportation and planning. I'm particularly pleased that it will involve cooperation with Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and faculty at Oregon Institute of Technology,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “This cooperation will permit us to draw strength from all these fine institutions, to further enrich the program, and to help deal with problems of transportation and livability that extend beyond the metropolitan area throughout the Willamette Valley and the State of Oregon. It was a pleasure to work with my colleague, Peter DeFazio, in securing the funding. It is also testimony to the leadership role played by the State of Oregon and Oregon higher education in this critical area.”

Established in 1966, the Center for Transportation Studies is housed in the College of Urban and Public Affairs and involves faculty from the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University. The Center strives to stimulate and conduct multidisciplinary research on transportation issues, facilitating the dissemination of information and encouraging the implementation of research results. CTS offers five graduate degree programs in transportation planning and engineering, has awarded more than 50 of these degrees since 1998, and faculty teach more than 25 graduate courses specializing in transportation subjects.

For information on the federal funding:
Dr. Robert Bertini, director, Center for Transportation Studies
503-224-3804 (home), 503-725-4249 (office)

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Source: Deborah Murdock (503-725-5040)
PSU Government Relations

For Immediate Release (#5-107)