WHAT IS R.O.U.T.E.S. ?
The Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (R.O.U.T.E.S.) Initiative will
address disparities in rural transportation infrastructure in order to tangibly improve safety and economic competitiveness in all parts of the country.
WHY IS R.O.U.T.E.S. NEEDED?
Rural transportation networks are critically important for domestic uses and export of agriculture, mining, and energy commodities, as well as the quality of life for all Americans.
Yet rural networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and usage:
- 19% of the nation’s population lives in rural areas but 46% of the
nation’s highway fatalities occur on rural roads
- 44% of rural vehicle miles are generated by urban residents
traveling to destinations outside their home metro areas
- Nearly half of all truck vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) occur on rural
roads and two-thirds of rail freight originates in rural areas
- 39% of all highway-rail crossing fatalities occur in rural areas, and
the highway fatality rate is more than twice that in urban areas
- 80% of America’s poor-condition bridges are in rural areas
DOT has been working to address these needs with efforts such as the new TIFIA credit program’s Rural Project Initiative. DOT plans to review other programs and improve data-driven consideration of
rural infrastructure that can address national transportation priorities such as safety, economic competitiveness, and quality of life.
WHAT WILL R.O.U.T.E.S. DO?
R.O.U.T.E.S. will embark on three activities: Collecting input from stakeholders on the benefits rural projects offer for safety and economic outcomes, as well as the type and degree of assistance rural projects require Providing user-friendly information to rural communities to enhance understanding about DOT’s infrastructure grant options Improving DOT’s data-driven approaches to better assess needs and benefits of rural transportation infrastructure projects The effort will be led by an internal DOT multimodal council that will ensure DOT’s rural efforts are coordinated across its modal administrations.
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RURAL OPPORTUNITIES TO USE
TRANSPORTATION FOR ECONOMIC SUCCESS