Transportation Research Board

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The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is a division of the United States National Research Council, which serves as an independent adviser to the President of the United States of America, the Congress and federal agencies on scientific and technical questions of national importance. The US. National Research Council is jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board —one of six major divisions of the National Research Council— is to promote innovation and progress in transportation through research. In an objective and interdisciplinary setting, the Board facilitates the sharing of information on transportation practice and policy by researchers and practitioners; stimulates research and offers research management services that promote technical excellence; provides expert advice on transportation policy and programs; and disseminates research results broadly and encourages their implementation.


TRB fulfills this mission through the work of its more than 200 standing committees and task forces addressing all modes and aspects of transportation; publication and dissemination of reports and peer-reviewed technical papers on research findings; management of cooperative research and other research programs; conduct of special studies on transportation policy issues at the request of the U.S. Congress and government agencies; operation of an on-line computerized file of transportation research information; and the hosting of an annual meeting that typically attracts 12,000 transportation professionals from throughout the United States and abroad.

The Board's activities are organized as follows:

  • Division A - Technical Activities
  • Division B - Studies and Special Programs
  • Division C - Administration and Finance
  • Division D - Cooperative Research Programs
  • SHRP 2 - Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2)

TRB's varied activities annually draw on over 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers from the public and private sectors and academia, who contribute expertise in the public interest by participating on TRB committees, panels, and task forces. The program is supported by state transportation departments, the various administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies, industry associations, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation.



The Transportation Research Board' Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) offers several databases for researchers:

The TRID Database is an integrated database that combines the records from TRB's Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) Database and the OECD's Joint Transport Research Centre’s International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD) Database. TRID is the world's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation research information. It contains more than one million records of published and ongoing research, covering all modes and disciplines of transportation. More than 156,000 records contain links to full-text documents. The records in TRID are indexed with a standardized vocabulary from the Transportation Research Thesaurus (TRT) or the ITRD Thesaurus, depending on the source organization. The TRID Database is available free of charge on TRB’s website at

The Research in Progress (RiP) Database contains more than 12,400 current or recently completed transportation research projects, mostly those funded by the modal administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), University Transportation Centers, or by TRB's cooperative research programs.

Research Needs Statements (RNS) Database An important function of TRB is to stimulate research that addresses issues facing the transportation community. In support of this function, TRB Technical Activities standing committees identify, develop, and disseminate research need statements (RNS) for use by practitioners, researchers, and others.

The TRB Publications Index (Pubsinde)x contains bibiliographic information on almost 48,000 papers, articles, and reports published by the Highway Research Board, Transportation Research Board, Strategic Highway Research Program, and the Marine Board.

The Practice Ready Papers (PRP) Database contains papers that are defined as those in which the research results presented and discussed make a contribution to the solution of current or future problems or issues for practitioners. Information presented in these papers is ready for immediate implementation or requires minimal additional research or implementation effort.

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