The Virginia Transportation Research Council is:
- Responsible for all research at the Virginia Department of
- A partnership of the Virginia Department of Transportation
and the University of Virginia since 1948
- Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, adjacent to the U.Va. Grounds, for the mutual benefit of VDOT and the university
'Bringing Innovation to Transportation'
The Virginia Transportation Research Council is one of the nation’s leading transportation research centers.
VTRC specializes in basic and applied research to support VDOT, its primary customer.
It also provides technical consulting and training of future transportation professionals through its work with U.Va. and other Virginia universities.
VTRC promotes advances in:
- System operations
- Traffic engineering
- Transportation planning
- Environmental issues
- Business practices
More about VTRC:
Funding comes primarily from VDOT and the Federal Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
VTRC’s FY 2009 budget is just over $17.3 million. This includes more than $14.3 million in state and federal monies as well as grants. Ancillary programs contribute the balance of funding.
The University of Virginia benefits from its partnership with VDOT through the use of the VTRC’s state-of-the-art labs and equipment, teaching expertise of VTRC’s scientists and financial support for U.Va.’s faculty and students, primarily through the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
VDOT, in turn, gains from the broad array of academic resources at U.Va. that can be applied to the complex problems and issues that characterize transportation in the 21st century.
The Smart Travel Lab, in U.Va.’s Center for Transportation Studies, is the most visible of these resources. Jointly run by U.Va. and VTRC, the lab supports research and education in intelligent transportation systems.
The lab links directly to VDOT’s Traffic Operations Centers so it can receive real-time ITS data. This allows students to create more effective ITS applications and systems.
VTRC also has a strong relationship with Virginia Tech, primarily through its oversight of VDOT’s Smart Road in Blacksburg. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute uses the Smart Road for research to make tomorrow’s drivers, vehicles and highways safer.
The corporate tenets of VDOT recognize RESEARCH as one of its core businesses, a rarity for a state transportation department. This means VDOT will develop and deliver a robust transportation research program that results in saving lives, saving time and saving money.
Not all of VTRC’s research projects lend themselves to stating direct monetary benefits. In 2007, however, the program produced enough recommendations for VDOT to implement to provide in turn a conservative return on its investment of $125 million over a five-year period.
On an annual basis, the results of the VTRC’s program normally pay for VDOT’s cost of this program several times over.