Fact Sheets on Highway Provisions
SURFACE TRANSPORTATION-ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM (STEP)
To establish a surface transportation-environmental cooperative research program to improve understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation and the environment.
SAFETEA-LU Section(s): 5207
Statutory Citation: 23 USC 507
Funded by set-aside from Surface Transportation Research funds authorized in 5101(a)(1).
The program is to be administered by USDOT. The Secretary may make grants to, or enter into cooperative agreements with the National Academy of Sciences as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
The program may include research to:
- develop more accurate models for evaluating transportation control measures and system designs for use by State and local governments to meet environmental requirements;
- improve understanding of transportation demand factors;
- develop indicators of economic, social, and environmental performance of transportation systems to facilitate alternatives analysis;
- meet additional priorities determined through the transportation research and development strategic planning process identified in section 5208 of SAFETEA-LU;
- refine the scope and research emphases through outreach and in consultation with stakeholders.
In administering the program, the Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that--
- the best projects and researchers are selected based on merit, open solicitations, and selection by a panel of appropriate experts;
- qualified, permanent core staff with ability to manage a large multiyear budget is used;
- stakeholders are involved in governance of program;
- there is no duplication with strategic highway research program.