USDOT Awards $3.5 Million


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Through a competitive grant solicitation, the United States
Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded $3.5 million to launch the Multimodal
Transportation and Infrastructure Consortium (MTIC), headed by Marshall University’s
Rahall Transportation Institute (RTI). MTIC is one of ten Tier I University Transportation
Centers and includes RTI in Huntington, W.Va.; Kentucky Transportation Center at
the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.; Center for Transportation Innovation
and Logistics and Distribution Institute at the University of Louisville, Louisville,
Ky.; and Eastern Seaboard Intermodal Transportation Application Center at Hampton
University, Hampton, Va. MTIC will focus on innovations in multimodal freight and
passenger transportation systems and infrastructure to foster sustainable economic
development. The new consortium calls for a range of collaborative studies, training
andpractical applications that meet the USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology
Administration’s strategic national goals. “This federal funding opens a new chapter
in RTI’s growth and its contribution to jobs and transportation,” said U.S. Rep.
Nick Rahall (D–W.Va.), during the award announcement Dec. 12, 2012. “The consortium
RTI has put together meets the demands of a tighter national budget and of a multi-state
region’s transportation needs. “From its research capabilities landing patents for
Marshall and in our state, to meeting the needs of our state transportation department,
to job development efforts like the Prichard Intermodal Facility, RTI has served
southern West Virginia and our nation well. With our new partners in Kentucky and
Virginia, this tri-statealliance will provide increased dividends.” Robert H. Plymale,
RTI Director and CEO, said, “I am looking forward to working with the Kentucky Transportation
Center at the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and Hampton University.
These schools and transportation institutes create a dynamic partnership in creating
solutions to solve regional and national transportation challenges.” Joe Crabtree,
Director of the University of Kentucky Transportation Center, said, “Through this
partnership, with the best minds of our respective institutions working together
on the problems that challenge us all, we canhave a tremendous impact on the future
health and economic vitality of our region and our country.” Dr. Stephen J. Kopp,
president of Marshall, said, “We’re very proud that Marshall University’s Rahall
Transportation Institute has become recognized as one of the top university transportation
centers in the country, and we look forward to advancing the vast promise possessed
by this multistate, regional consortium in addressing the varied and unique transportation
issues facing Appalachia. Thank you to the U.S. Department of Transportation for
this opportunity and to Congressman Rahall for his ongoing support. Congratulations
to the executive director of RTI, Bob Plymale, and his staff for their exemplary
work to help secure this funding.” RTI was established through the Transportation
Equity Act for the 21st Century passed by Congress in 1998 and funded through a
grant from the USDOT. In recognition of his demonstrated leadership to enhance economic
development through safer, more efficient transportation infrastructure throughout
West Virginia and the Appalachian Region, the Center bears the name of U.S. Representative
Nick Joe Rahall, II.