Chapter 9: Other Research Programs

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Section 1: Transportation Research Board (TRB)

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The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is a unit of the National Research Council, a private, nonprofit institution that is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. The Board's mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation by stimulating and conducting research, facilitating the dissemination of information, and encouraging the implementation of research results.

TRB fulfills this mission through the work of its standing technical committees and task forces, addressing all modes and aspects of transportation, publication and dissemination of reports and peer-reviewed technical papers, administration of contract research programs, conduct of special studies on transportation policy issues at the request of Congress and government agencies, operation of an online database of research information, and the hosting of an annual meeting that typically attracts transportation professionals from the United States and abroad.

One of the major contract research programs administered by TRB is the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), which is discussed further in the next section of this chapter.

Other contract research programs administered by TRB include:

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  • Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) – established in 1992 by the three cooperating organizations: Federal Transit Administration; the National Academies, acting through TRB; and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc., a nonprofit educational and research organization. The TCRP undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of transit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices.
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  • Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) – authorized in 2003 as part of the Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. In October 2005, the Federal Aviation Administration executed a contract with the National Academies, acting through TRB, to serve as manager of the ACRP. Program oversight and governance are provided by representatives of airport operating agencies. The ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agencies, undertaking research and other technical activities in a variety of airport subject areas including design, construction, maintenance, operations, safety, security, policy, planning, human resources, and administration.

To learn more about TRB activities, programs, and publications, visit

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RTI Responsibilities

The Research and Technology Implementation Division (RTI) has several responsibilities related to TxDOT’s involvement with TRB. These responsibilities include:

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  • coordinating the execution of TxDOT’s contract with TRB, which provides funding to help TRB operate, and provides TRB materials to TxDOT
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  • ensuring that TRB publications are maintained in TxDOT’s research library, and
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  • maintaining information about active TxDOT research projects in the TRB Research in Progress (RIP) database.
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