Headquarters of the U.S. Department of Transportation
|Formed||April 1, 1967|
|Jurisdiction||United States of America|
|Headquarters||1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C.|
|Annual budget||$72.4 billion USD (FY2015, enacted)|
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or DOT) is a federal Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation. It was established by the Department of Transportation Act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967. The Secretary of Transportation is the head of DOT.
The department's mission is "to develop and coordinate policies that will provide an efficient and economical national transportation system, with due regard for need, the environment, and the national defense."
Prior to the Department of Transportation, the functions now associated with the DOT were administered by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency - the future Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - suggested to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that transportation be elevated to a cabinet-level post, and that the FAA be folded into the DOT. The idea of having a federal department of transportation was first proposed by former President Woodrow Wilson in 1921-22.
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 fiscal year 2010 also included $1.83 billion in funding for major transit projects, of which more than $600 million went towards 10 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.
|Administration||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 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.