United States Department of Transportation



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 The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United St ...
and is a member of the president's Cabinet. 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 creation of the Department of Transportation, its functions were administered by the under secretary of commerce for transportation. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency (predecessor to the
Federal Aviation Administration The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the largest transportation agency of the U.S. government and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the country as well as over surrounding international waters. Its powers include air traffi ...
, FAA), suggested to President Lyndon B. Johnson that transportation be elevated to a cabinet-level post, and that the FAA be folded into the DOT. It was established by Congress in the Department of Transportation Act on October 15, 1966. The department began operation on April 1, 1967. The idea of having a federal department of transportation was first proposed by former President Woodrow Wilson in 1921–22.


Federal Aviation Administration The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the largest transportation agency of the U.S. government and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the country as well as over surrounding international waters. Its powers include air traffi ...
(FAA) *
Federal Highway Administration The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the United States Department of Transportation that specializes in highway transportation. The agency's major activities are grouped into two programs, the Federal-aid Highway Program a ...
(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) * John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center * Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)

Former agencies

* 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 New York, often called New York City or NYC, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the L ...
, 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. The Department of Transportation was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2016 of $75.1 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: In 2021, President
Joe Biden Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. ( ; born November 20, 1942) is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, he previously served as the 47th ...
signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The $1.2 trillion act included over $250 billion in funding for transportation-related infrastructure projects.

Related legislation

* 1806 – Cumberland Road * 1862 – Pacific Railway Act * 1887 – Interstate Commerce Act * 1916 – Adamson Railway Labor Act * 1935 – Motor Carrier Act * 1946 – Federal Airport Act, * 1950 – Federal Aid to Highway, * 1954 – Saint Lawrence Seaway Act * 1956 – Federal-Aid to Highway/Interstate Highway Act, * 1957 – Airways Modernization Act, * 1958 – Transportation Act of 1958, * 1958 – Federal Aviation Act, * 1959 – Airport Construction Act, * 1964 – Urban Mass Transportation Act, * 1965 – Highway Beautification Act, * 1966 – Department of Transportation established, * 1970 – Urban Mass Transportation Act, * 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.Making the Grade: Access to Information Scorecard 2015
. March 2015, p. 80, Center for Effective Government. Retrieved March 21, 2016.

See also

* American Highway Users Alliance *
National Highway System (United States) The National Highway System (NHS) is a network of strategic highways within the United States, including the Interstate Highway System and other roads serving major airports, ports, military bases, rail or truck terminals, railway stations, pipe ...
* 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


External links

Department of Transportation
on USAspending.gov
United States Department of Transportation
in the
Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the government gazette, official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains government agency rules, proposed rules, and public notices. It is published every week ...
{{navboxes , list = {{United States Department of Transportation {{United States federal executive departments {{Lyndon B. Johnson, state=collapsed {{Authority control {{Portal bar, United States {{Include-USGov-DOT Transportation government agencies of the United States Government agencies established in 1966
Transportation Transport (in British English British English (BrE, en-GB, or BE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, " English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specifically to the Engli ...
1966 establishments in Washington, D.C.