College of Engineering News Room

Rep. Kathy Castor Addressed Researchers, Students During Visit to the Center for Urban Transportation Research at USF

A collage of Rep. Kathy Castor's visit to CUTR at USF

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor visited the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at USF last week to speak to researchers and students about their work in solving America’s most pressing transportation issues and to take a short tour of the center.

Castor was a strong congressional advocate for CUTR in being selected for a recent $7.5 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant to establish a national university transportation center at USF.

“We’re really thrilled to get that, and we have a lot to thank Congresswoman Castor for in making that happen,” said CUTR Transportation Demand Management Program Director Philip Winters. “She helped push the effort in D.C. that helped us win out over 20 other proposals that were developed.”

Castor said she thought work done at CUTR was one of the university’s “best kept secrets” and urged students and researchers to think boldly in creating transit solutions that also address our changing climate.

“Most folks don’t know that some of the best research in transportation and mobility is happening right here at USF,” she said to students and researchers. “The country needs your help, and the planet needs your help because there’s no way we’re going to cut carbon pollution as dramatically as we need to unless we have a total change in the way we move goods and people in this country.”

Castor also answered attendees’ questions surrounding top transit issues and listened to their thoughts and suggestions on crafting solutions. Their discussion included topics like connected vehicles, the current state of transportation planning in legislation, improving public transport, the feasibility of high-speed rail in Tampa, pedestrian safety in the Bay Area, alternative fuels, fuel economy standards and electric vehicles.

After her address, Castor met with CUTR researchers and students individually to speak with them about their current transportation projects. Her subsequent tour of the center featured a look at CUTR’s traffic signal controller donated by the city of Tampa for research as well as CUTR’s autonomous vehicle prototype.