Headquarters of the U.S. Department of Transportation
|Formed||April 1, 1967|
|Jurisdiction||U.S. federal government|
|Headquarters||1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C.|
|Annual budget||US$87.6 billion (FY2021, enacted)|
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or DOT) is one of the executive departments of the U.S. federal government. It is headed by the secretary of transportation, who reports directly to the president of the United States and is a member of the president's Cabinet.
The department's fiscal year 2022–2026 strategic plan states that its mission is "to deliver the world's leading transportation system, serving the American people and economy through the safe, efficient, sustainable, and equitable movement of people and goods."
In 1965 Najeeb Halaby, the chief of the independent Federal Aviation Agency strongly urged President Lyndon Johnson to set up a cabinet-level Department of Transportation. Halaby proposed merging the responsibilities of the undersecretary of commerce for transportation and the Federal Aviation Agency to achieve this goal. While the federal government was granted authority over aviation and railroads through the commerce clause of the Constitution, the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration primarily provided funding for state and local projects, without significant influence over road construction and operation. Halaby emphasized the need for improved coordination and expressed frustration at the lack of an overall plan. "One looks in vain," he told Johnson, "for a point of responsibility below the President capable of taking an evenhanded, comprehensive, authoritarian approach to the development of transportation policies or even able to assure reasonable coordination and balance among the various transportation programs of the government." Johnson convinced Congress to act and The Department of Transportation was authorized in October 1966 and launched on 1 April 1967, with a mission to ensure that federal funds were effectively used to support the national transportation program. Johnson proclaimed upon signing the act: "Transportation has truly emerged as a significant part of our national life. As a basic force in our society, its progress must be accelerated so that the quality of our life can be improved.
- Advanced Research Projects Agency–Infrastructure (ARPA-I)
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
- Maritime Administration (MARAD)
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Office of Inspector General (OIG)
- Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST)
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
- Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)
- Research and Innovative Technology Administration，which includes the below agencies, among others：
- Transportation Security Administration – transferred to Department of Homeland Security in 2003
- United States Coast Guard – transferred to Department of Homeland Security in 2003
- Surface Transportation Board (STB) – spun off as an independent federal agency in 2015
In 2012, the DOT awarded $742.5 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 11 transit projects. The awardees include light rail projects. Other projects include both a commuter rail extension and a subway project in New York City, and a bus rapid transit system in Springfield, Oregon. The funds subsidize a heavy rail project in northern Virginia, completing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metro Silver Line to connect Washington, D.C., and the Washington Dulles International Airport. (DOT had previously agreed to subsidize the Silver Line construction to Reston, Virginia.)
President Barack Obama's budget request for 2010 also included $1.83 billion in funding for major transit projects. More than $600 million went towards ten new or expanding transit projects. The budget provided additional funding for all of the projects currently receiving Recovery Act funding, except for the bus rapid transit project. It also continued funding for another 18 transit projects that are either currently under construction or soon will be. Following the same, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 delegated $600 million for Infrastructure Investments, referred to as Discretionary Grants.
|Agency / Office||Funding (in millions)||Employees (FTE)|
|Federal Aviation Administration||$16,280.7||45,988|
|Federal Highway Administration||$43,049.7||2,782|
|Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration||$580.4||1,175|
|National Highway Traffic Safety Administration||$869.0||639|
|Federal Transit Administration||$11,782.6||585|
|Federal Railroad Administration||$1,699.2||934|
|Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration||$249.6||575|
|Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation||$28.4||144|
|Office of the Secretary||$935.4||1,284|
|Office of the Inspector General||$87.5||413|
In 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The $1.2 trillion act included over $660 billion in funding for transportation-related infrastructure projects over the five-year period of fiscal years 2022-2026.
- 1806 – Cumberland Road
- 1862 – Pacific Railway Act
- 1887 – Interstate Commerce Act
- 1916 – Adamson Railway Labor Act
- 1935 – Motor Carrier Act
- 1946 – Federal Airport Act, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 79–377, 60 Stat. 170
- 1950 – Federal Aid to Highway, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 81–769, 64 Stat. 785
- 1954 – Saint Lawrence Seaway Act
- 1956 – Federal-Aid to Highway/Interstate Highway Act, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 84–627, 70 Stat. 374
- 1957 – Airways Modernization Act, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 85–133, 71 Stat. 349
- 1958 – Transportation Act of 1958, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 85–625, 72 Stat. 568
- 1958 – Federal Aviation Act, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 85–726, 72 Stat. 731
- 1959 – Airport Construction Act, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 86–72, 73 Stat. 155
- 1964 – Urban Mass Transportation Act, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 88–365
- 1965 – Highway Beautification Act, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 89–285, 79 Stat. 1028
- 1966 – Department of Transportation established, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 89–670, 80 Stat. 931
- 1970 – Urban Mass Transportation Act, Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 91–453, 84 Stat. 962
- 1970 – Rail Passenger Service Act PL 91-518
- 1970 – Airport and Airway Development Act PL 91-258
- 1973 – Federal Aid Highway Act PL 93-87
- 1973 – Amtrak Improvement Act PL 93-146
- 1973 – Federal Aid Highway Act PL 93-87
- 1974 – National Mass Transportation Assistance Act PL 93-503
- 1976 – Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act PL 94-210
- 1976 – Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act PL 94-435
- 1978 – Airline Deregulation Act PL 95-504
- 1980 – Motor Carrier Act PL 96-296
- 1980 – Staggers Rail Act PL 96-448
- 1982 – Transportation Assistance Act PL 97-424
- 1982 – Bus Regulatory Reform Act PL 97-261
- 1984 – Commercial Space Launch Act PL 98-575
- 1987 – Surface Transportation Act PL 100-17
- 1991 – Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act PL 102-240
- 1998 – Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century PL 105-178
- 2000 – Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century PL 106-181
- 2001 – Aviation and Transportation Security Act (PL 107-71)
- 2002 – Homeland Security Act (PL 107-296)
- 2005 – Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (PL 109-59)
- 2012 – Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) PL 112-141
- 2015 – Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) PL 114-94
- 2021 - Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act PL 117-58
Freedom of Information Act processing performance
In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of 15 federal agencies which receive the most Freedom of Information Act FOIA requests, published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the Department of Transportation earned a D by scoring 65 out of a possible 100 points, i.e., did not earn a satisfactory overall grade.
- American Highway Users Alliance
- National Highway System (United States)
- National Transportation Safety Board
- Passenger vehicles in the United States
- Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations
- Transportation in the United States
- Transportation policy of the United States
- Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
- United States Federal Maritime Commission
- United States Secretary of Transportation
- "Department of Transportation 2022 Budget Highlights" (PDF). U.S. Department of Transportation. p. 11. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 5, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
- "Fiscal Year 2022-2026 U.S. Department of Transportation Strategic Plan" (PDF). U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
- Richard Dean Burns and Joseph M. Siracusa, Historical Dictionary of the Kennedy-Johnson Era (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) p. 118.
- "The United States Department of Transportation: A Brief History". National Transportation Library. March 1, 2009. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012.
- Edwards, Chris. "Department of Transportation Timeline". Downsizing the Federal Government.
- April 1, 1967 : the opening day of the U.S. Department of Transportation. January 1, 2017 By Martin, David ; Strayhorn, Nicole C. ; Wilson, Amanda J. Official website of United States Department of Transportation, National Transportation Library, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
- "DOT Awards $742.5 Million in Recovery Act Funds to 11 Transit Projects". EERE Network News. May 13, 2009. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
- "Annual Report on Funding Recommendations – Fiscal Year 2010" (PDF). U.S. Department of Transportation. April 29, 2009. pp. A-75 (101) & seq. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
- "Transforming Communities in the 21st Century" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 29, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
- "Bipartisan Infrastructure Law FAQs". U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
- "Profile Showing the Grades upon the Different Routes Surveyed for the Union Pacific Rail Road Between the Missouri River and the Valley of the Platte River". World Digital Library. 1865. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Making the Grade: Access to Information Scorecard 2015 Archived March 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. March 2015, p. 80, Center for Effective Government. Retrieved March 21, 2016.