MOBILITY EQUITY RESEARCH INITIATIVE

Funding Agency:
Department of Transportation

The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 “provides $2,970,000 for the complete trips program and the Secretary is encouraged to partner with universities, with expertise in mobility challenges, to increase mobility to disadvantaged groups, particularly in rural areas.” The OST-R Office of Research, Development & Technology is meeting this mandate through the Mobility Equity Research Initiative.

Millions of Americans have few or no transportation choices. The design of our cities, towns, suburbs, and neighborhoods, and investments in transportation infrastructure heavily influence peoples’ access to mobility choices. Decisions that federal, regional, state, local, and Tribal governments have made— including ones made decades ago—have shaped our current transportation landscape and as a result, in many parts of the United States driving a personal vehicle is the only mobility option. These decisions have also often caused disproportionate environmental and health impacts on low-income, minority, and underserved communities and deprived them of investments in accessible, affordable, low-carbon transportation options.

Many people cannot drive to get where they need to go due to cost, age, disability, or lack of access to training to obtain a driver’s license. Many others prefer not to drive. Mobility challenges can be especially acute in urban disadvantaged communities,1 Tribal Nations, and rural areas.

Research and technology advancements are needed to address these longstanding mobility inequities. Bringing together progress in enabling technologies like telecommunications, data analysis, and clean energy with innovations in connectivity, business models, and service design creates new opportunities for people to get where they need to go, when they want to get there, safely and at a price they can afford. Research and development of such technologies can expand access and improve mobility for all Americans.

Through this NOFO, U.S. DOT seeks to advance research and technologies that support the Department’s goal of expanding accessibility and mobility to underserved communities, including people with disabilities, older Americans, and rural and disadvantaged communities. Further, U.S. DOT is seeking proposals that will produce research results and tools that build on or complement existing data and systems such as those found on https://equity- data.dot.gov/.

Deadline: March 5, 2024

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

This competition is open to institutions of higher education, public research entities (e.g., University Affiliated Research Initiatives (UARCs), Federally Funded Research and Development Initiatives (FFRDCs), national laboratories, and similar entities), 501(c)3 nonprofit research entities, and consortia thereof. Applicants must be established and located in the United States or its territories or on Tribal lands.

Amount Description

Under this Notice of Funding Opportunity, U.S. DOT anticipates making an award of $2,970,000 for one cooperative agreement, or two cooperative agreements in the amount of $1,485,000 each. In the application, applicants must identify at least one partnering organization

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Community Outreach and Engagement
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

March 5, 2024