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HEP MAP-21 Research Program Frequently Asked Question

  1. Have changes been made to the research program within the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty, since the implementation of MAP-21?
    • The research funding mechanism was changed by legislation, but the research program areas remain similar and are focused on strengthening transportation planning and environmental decision making.
    • The research program area has a national focus on program areas that improve transportation planning, processes, programming, operations and coordination.
  2. How is HEP MAP-21 coordinated with other transportation research?
    • Research is coordinated through three mechanisms:
    • The Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) funding will help transportation agencies begin deploying products developed under the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).
    • The Center for Environmental Excellence, developed in cooperation with FHWA, continues to promote environmental stewardship and innovative ways to streamline the transportation delivery process.
    • The National Cooperative Highway Research Program conducts research in problem areas that affect highway planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance nationwide.
  3. How is research funded under MAP-21?
    • The Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning, Environment and Realty (HEP) receives funding from two programs under MAP-21:
      • The Highway Research and Deployment Program (HRD) $13.5 million is reserved for activities that strengthen transportation planning and environmental decisionmaking and replaces the STEP program with a new program focused on environment, planning and real estate services.
      • The Technology and Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP) provides $2.5 million annually for technology deployment in environment and planning.
  4. What happened to HEP's STEP Research Program?
    • HEP's Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) ended on September 30, 2012.
    • Unobligated balances that remain available from the Program will continue to be administered under the applicable SAFETEA-LU requirements.
    • MAP-21 repealed the STEP Program beginning October 1, 2012.
  5. Will requested lines of research submitted under STEP be considered for funding under MAP-21?
    • Yes, recommendations are always considered for future lines of research and MAP-21 funding.
    • The STEP program was repealed but another program which establishes similar policies, principles and planning practices for a national research program was implemented.
  6. What will HEP do with the STEP stakeholder feedback collected under the STEP Program?
    • STEP Stakeholder feedback collected during 2011 was collated into the Fiscal Year 2012 STEP Annual Report.
    • Feedback is used by the research coordinator and technical experts in the program areas to help develop and implement research projects that address national needs and priorities under MAP-21.
    • Each office within the Office of Planning, Environment and Realty has a research coordinator who is familiar with the planned research projects in their office, and they can direct you to the specific technical expert in a research program area.
    • The contacts for research coordinators can be found at:

Information on MAP -21 can be found at:

Updated: 8/29/2013
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