Welcome to the University Transportation Center for Alabama (UTCA)

The University Transportation Center for Alabama conducts transportation education, research, and technology-transfer activities throughout the state and region. All faculty and staff members from The University of Alabama (UA), The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) are eligible to conduct projects in all of these service areas.

The UTCA was created by a resolution of the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama System (UA System) and began operation on March 15, 1999. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century  (TEA-21), Public Law 105-178, provided initial funding and established the UTCA as a “university transportation center” (UTC) under the US Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). The UTCA now operates as a Title III UTC under the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

The UTCA mission contributes to the overall mission of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). Specifically, the UTCA seeks

to advance technology and expertise in the multiple disciplines that comprise transportation through the mechanisms of education, research, and technology transfer while serving as a university-based center of excellence (2006 UTCA Strategic Plan, p. 12).

The UTCA theme – Management and Safety of Transportation Systems – reflects the transportation needs of Alabama and the expertise of The University of Alabama System faculty. In allocating UTCA funding, the Executive Committee and Advisory Board give priority to programs and projects that closely follow this theme. Last year the Executive Committee narrowed and sharpened the focus of the UTCA research program to emphasize the topic of congestion. Several management research projects now focus on maximizing traffic management and minimizing congestion. Similarly, safety research projects may now highlight infrastructure sustainability.