National Institute for Transportation and Communities

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Improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities — through research, education and technology transfer.

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is one of five U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers.

Housed at Portland State University, NITC is a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). This Portland State-led research partnership includes the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington.

Urban populations are increasing, yet so is income inequality. As the second-largest household expense, transportation is a significant contributing factor. Demographic shifts, along with efforts to address climate change and other policy challenges, are contributing to the demand for multimodal solutions. Rapid advances in technology and shared mobility have the potential to address these challenges, yet they also pose new ones in implementation and equity. With constrained resources, we need better data and tools to optimize mobility for all.

To address these challenges, our consortium of six leading universities focuses on research to:





Our research is designed with end-users in mind: elected and appointed decision-makers, transportation professionals, and an engaged public. We disseminate our research through education programs and toolkits in order to produce a diverse, interdisciplinary workforce at all levels and ages.

Our shared goal is a safe and efficient multimodal system that promotes economic opportunities, improves health, and reduces inequality - through innovative technology and effective, data-driven decision making.

The Origin of NITC
Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and the Oregon Institute of Technology jointly formed OTREC in 2005 - one of the first national university transportation centers to be designated and funded by the U.S. DOT. The partnership outgrew Oregon’s borders to welcome the University of Utah in 2012, adopting the NITC name, and again in 2013 with the addition of the University of South Florida. The NITC program continued its national expansion through the University of Arizona and the University of Texas at Arlington and in late 2016 successfully competed for five years of funding as one of five national centers in the U.S.


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University Research Partners

The NITC program is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah and new partners University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington. Our university partners conduct research projects around our theme, and match money to each project.

Project Cosponsors

Dozens of partners, including universities, utilities, governments, businessess, and nonprofit organizations 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.


Our semiannual progress reports provide information on the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, grant. We also maintain annual reports from NITC's predecessor grant, OTREC. Download a report to learn some of our history and the impacts of our research and programs.