Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Over $1.4 Million In Fed Funding For Cornell University Transportation Research Center; Senators Say Grant Will Allow Cornell To Continue Leading Innovative Program Focused On Preserving Public Health And The Environment While Improving Transportation

Feb 14, 2019

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,400,100 in U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funding for Cornell University. The funding was allocated through the DOT’s University Transportation Center (UTC) program. Cornell will use the funding to continue their leadership of a consortium of universities that research and develop new transportation innovations to limit adverse impacts on public health and the environment. Schumer and Gillibrand said that the funding will give Cornell’s world-class researchers the opportunity to meet national challenges related to transportation systems, the environment, and public health. The Transportation, Environment, and Community Health (CTECH) Center was created in partnership with the University of California-Davis, University of South Florida, and the University of Texas at El Paso. The center is run out of Cornell’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and works to advance research projects and educational opportunities at all partner schools focused on addressing the critical issues facing transportation systems.

“Finding the innovative solutions that address our nation’s need for environmentally-sound transportation infrastructure is key to our economic success,” said Senator Schumer. “This grant will enable Cornell University and its new transportation center to continue producing game-changing research on the technology that could preserve our environment and protect our communities from harmful pollutants. Modernizing America’s infrastructure is a linchpin in rebuilding our middle class, and I am proud that New York is taking the lead in developing modern, efficient sustainable transportation technologies.”

“This grant is great news for Cornell University and CTECH,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding is an investment in the future of transportation and will help lead to the technological advances necessary to preserve our environment and advance solutions to some of the country’s most difficult transportation problems. I will always fight in the Senate to ensure that our universities have the resources they need to continue creating new and sustainable solutions to improve our communities.”

“The focus is on urban infrastructure such as transportation, which, while greatly contributing to our mobility and freedom, comes at a cost to the environment and health. Through social-technical systems innovations toward a paradigm shift, the Center is working to break the norm for integrated multisector city and transportation systems planning, design, finance, and management to one that proactively prioritizes health, sustainability, livability outcomes, and reduces health inequalities,” said CTECH Director and Cornell Professor H. Oliver Gao.

The UTC Program advances state-of-the-art transportation research and technology, and develops the next generation of transportation professionals. The Congressionally-mandated program has been in place since 1987 to help address our nation’s ever-growing need for the safe, efficient, and environmentally-sound movement of people and goods. This grant is one of 35 five-year grants that will be awarded to lead consortia under the UTC program. The program was reauthorized by Sec. 6016 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which Schumer and Gillibrand championed in the Senate.