Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES)
USDOT’s Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) initiative is designed to address disparities in rural transportation infrastructure. The primary purpose of ROUTES is to address the unique challenges to meet our nation’s safety and economic competitiveness goals by helping establish strong rural transportation networks.
Rural roads account for a significant proportion of total lane miles in the United States. FMCSA understands the transportation challenges rural areas face for ensuring safe and reliable transportation, moving people and goods to their destinations. Outlined below are FMCSA annual grant opportunities to improve rural road safety. Please visit https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/Grants/Default.aspx for more information.
MCSAP Formula Grants
The MCSAP is a formula grant program that provides financial assistance to States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to reduce the number and severity of crashes and hazardous material incidents involving CMVs. Specifically, only the State lead agency (as designated by the Governor) is eligible to apply for MCSAP grant funding by submitting a commercial vehicle safety plan (CVSP), in accordance with the provisions of 49 CFR 350.201 and 205.
MCSAP is FMCSA's largest grant program, providing $304 Million in funding to 56 State and local law enforcement agencies in FY 2021. Through this funding and programmatic support – including the tools and resources featured on this website – the Agency partners with grantees to support consistent, uniform, and effective CMV safety programs. For more information, visit https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/Grants/MCSAP.aspx.
High Priority Grants (HP CMV and HP ITD)
The High Priority (HP) discretionary grant provides financial assistance to enhance MCSAP commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety-related activities and support Innovative Technology Deployment (ITD).
FMCSA awarded more than $45.2 million through the HP grant program in FY 2021, including $35.7 million to 33 States, $2 million to five local jurisdictions, and $7.6 million to 10 additional entities, including eight universities. For more information, visit https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/Grants/HighPriority.aspx.
Under both the MCSAP and High Priority grants, FMCSA has emphasized the critical need for CMV safety on Rural Roads. The Agency has provided funds to promote safe CMV operation and enforcement in rural corridors through commercial vehicle safety inspections, traffic enforcement and outreach. FMCSA has also highlighted the importance of safe migrant and seasonal worker transportation in rural zones during peak harvest seasons in high-density agricultural regions.
FMCSA continues to promote the use of grant funds to establish effective safety campaigns to address CMV safety in rural areas. Projects funded in FY’s 2021 and 2022 include activities that:
- Improve CMV safety and compliance with CMV safety regulations through enforcement activities to reduce the number of CMV involved crashes and fatalities on rural roads.
- Increase CMV safety on rural roads by conducting targeted inspections on commercial motor vehicles identified in high risk rural roads and areas.
- Increase selective enforcement efforts on rural roads and at-risk bridges using forward looking infrared (FLIR).
- Improve the capacity to target education and enforcement for safe CMV operation on rural roads, including outreach to drivers about distracted driving.
- Promote safe interactions between bicyclists and large trucks/ buses on rural roads and in rural communities.
- Develop data innovations to track, mitigate and reduce high risk behaviors for CMV operators on rural roadways.
Consistent with the Department's Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) initiative in, the Department encourages applicants to propose enforcement activities in their application which address the unique challenges facing rural transportation networks. Visit https://www.transportation.gov/rural for more information.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Visit the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law webpage to learn more about its historic investment in America’s infrastructure.