The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) is being replaced by two new Federal agencies: the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). These new organizations will be effective no later than February 28, 2005.
RITA is a new Department of Transportation (DOT) organization dedicated to advancing the DOT’s priorities for transportation innovation, research, and education. RITA will integrate the existing intermodal research and development functions of the RSPA Office of Innovation, Research, and Education and the Secretary’s Office of Intermodalism. In addition, RITA also will incorporate the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City; and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in its entirety.
The incoming RITA Administrator is required to prepare a report to Congress, due March 30, 2005, on the research activities and priorities of the Department of Transportation. The report shall include the following information:
- A summary of the mission and strategic goals of the new RITA Administration;
- A prioritized list of the research and development activities that the Department intends to pursue over the next five (5) years;
- A description of the primary purposes for conducting such R&D; activities such as reducing traffic congestion, improving mobility, and promoting safety;
- An estimate of the funding levels needed to implement such R&D; activities for the current fiscal year; and
- Additional information the RITA Administrator considers appropriate.
As a part of the stakeholder review process, the Department of Transportation is soliciting comments from Federal, state, private sector, and not-for-profit institutions. Please submit all comments electronically to RitaReport@rspa.dot.gov or fax to (202) 366-3671. The deadline for comments is February 15, 2005.