PSU transpo grant includes green provisions

Cathy Cheney | Portland Business Journal

A recent study found that Portland's MAX Blue Line has sparked about $6.6 billion in transit-oriented development. PSU will use part of a nearly $3 million grant to look at the effects of such strategies and other sustainability-related categories.

Portland State University’s transportation research and education center has snagged a major grant to help it expand the National Institute for Transportation and Communities program.

The $2.83 million federal grant designates the department as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s national university transportation center for livable communities.

PSU is leading the NITC program, which includes involvement from the University of South Florida the University of Oregon, the Oregon Institute of Technology and the University of Utah.

Portland State's transportation center was one of 142 applicants to the federal University Transportation Centers program for 35 grants. The program aims to encourage "livable communities, safety, economic competitiveness ... and environmental sustainability."

The NITC program will study ways that transit-oriented developments affect jobs, housing choice and affordability, right-of-way issues and whether fuel cell batteries can reduce emissions from such large commercial vehicles as garbage trucks.

“Portland State University continues to be recognized as a national leader in cutting-edge research on safety, multi-modal planning, and innovative methods to reduce vehicle emissions,” said U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, in a release. “Expanding the scope of the National Institute for Transportation and Communities program builds upon OTREC’s record of success and I’m excited to see how we can capitalize on their work to create safer, healthier, and more livable communities.”

“This grant further solidifies OTREC’s leadership and builds on the success already happening at Portland State University, as well as helping move research into the community and making our cities a magnet for middle class families," added U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley in the same release.

OTREC at Portland State has brought in $26 million of U.S. Transportation Department grants since 2006.

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