About the NITC program

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, is a national university transportation center designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. NITC is a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center, or TREC, at Portland State University. The program's focus is on improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities.

The program, originally called OTREC, had its beginnings in 2006 when Portland State joined with the University of Oregon and Oregon Institute of Technology to leverage Oregon’s transportation expertise to solve national problems. In 2012, Portland State successfully competed for a U.S. Department of Transportation grant to succeed the original OTREC grant, creating the NITC program. NITC joined the Oregon partners with new partners University of Utah and University of South Florida. In 2016 Portland State once again competed to expand the program, bringing in the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Arizona.

Our research program is designed with the end users in mind: elected and appointed decisionmakers, transportation professionals, and the engaged public. We provide data, analytical tools and performance measures to allow communities make better decisions with limited transportation resources. Research deployment drives our technology transfer efforts.

Our education programs aim to produce a diverse, interdisciplinary workforce at all levels. We develop our programs to be transferrable, allowing communities across the country to duplicate our successes. Our campuses are national leaders in experiential learning, involving students in their communities. Our efforts extend past graduation, as we offer seminars, workshops and training efforts to educate transportation professionals throughout their careers. It is our hope that these combined efforts will help create a safe and efficient multimodal system that promotes economic opportunity, improves health, and reduces inequality, using innovative technology and effective, data-driven decision-making.


From the universities that participate to the match money each project requires, partnerships define the NITC program. Those partnerships extend to the public, private and institutional sectors, including universities, utilities, governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other university transportation centers. 


The NITC program is based at TREC, Portland State University's transportation research and education center. Our partners include the University of Oregon, Oregon Tech, University of Utah, University of South Florida, University of Arizona and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Project Cosponsors

Dozens of partners have supported NITC projects with cash matches or in-kind assistance.


The NITC program is a member of the Council of University Transportation Centers. CUTC provides a forum for universities and centers to interact with government and industry.