OLR Research Report

February 16, 2007




By: James J. Fazzalaro, Principal Analyst

You asked that we look at the organizational structures of other states' transportation agencies to identify those that may divide responsibility for highway and public transportation functions into separate agencies.


We assessed the organizational structures of state transportation agencies in all 50 states by examining their organizational charts and unit descriptions through their internet websites. Based on this analysis, we grouped the states into four categories. The most common form of organization appeared to be one in which the state had a single state transportation agency that was organized into division or organizational units based on functional activities such as administration, finance, planning, engineering, operations, and construction. In this model, activities relating to different non-highway modes of transportation typically were grouped together under one of these divisions or organizational units. We felt that 22 states could be considered to fall into this type of organizational model to one degree or another.

The second organizational category was one in which the state has a single transportation agency and is divided into organizational units that include at least two separate bureaus or divisions set up specifically to conduct activities for a single non-highway transportation mode. Some of these agencies also may have organizational units set up by functional activity, such as administration, finance, or engineering, but the distinguishing characteristic that we felt separated them from the wholly functional organizational model was the existence of distinct modal bureaus or divisions. We put Connecticut and 15 other states into this category.

The third type of organizational category was one where we could identify no distinct public transportation component in the organizational structure. While these agencies could be either functionally or modally organized, or a hybrid of both types of organization, the organizational structure appeared to have no identifiable public transportation unit. Although these agencies might be performing some non-highway mode functions, such as administration of federal grants, it appeared that this was being carried out without distinct units assigned to these functions. We felt that five states fell into this organizational model.

The fourth organizational category was one where some or all of the non-highway transportation mode functions are performed by organizations that are either independent of or partially independent of the state transportation agency that is responsible for the highway system. We felt that seven states were examples of this type of organizational structure. The degree of differentiation of function into independent agencies varied from Delaware where all public transportation functions are performed by a quasi-public corporation while all other functions are performed by the department of transportation to Virginia, where highways, rail and public transportation, aviation, ports, and motor vehicle matters are all performed by state agencies that operate independently and report separately to a cabinet level transportation secretary.

The following summarizes the states that we placed into each of these four organizational models.

Transportation Agencies Organized by Functional Activity

(22 States)

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin

Transportation Agencies Organized by Transportation Mode

(16 States)

Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia

Transportation Agencies With No Readily Identifiable Public Transportation Component Unit

(5 States)

Alaska, Indiana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming

Multi-Agency Transportation Organizations

(7 States)

Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Virginia

The remainder of this report provides a brief narrative description of the organizational structures of each state's transportation agencies based on these categorizations. In the last section, which describes seven states with multi-agency organizations, we have identified each of the agencies in the state and provided a description of its responsibility.


One model under which some transportation agencies function is one in which the components are organized by functional activity rather than transportation mode. Responsibility for different modes of transportation typically falls within a single functional component such as a program management or operations division or possibly more than one division. What distinguishes this model from the modal form of organization is that the individual transportation modes are not distinct organizational entities.

The 22 states which we felt primarily exhibited this type of organizational model are described below.


The department is organized into 22 bureaus. Most are specific to agency functions, such as finance and audits, personnel, planning, research and development, and maintenance. All of the non-highway transportation modes are within the Multi Modal Bureau except for aeronautics, which has its own bureau. Within the Multi Modal Bureau is a rail division for planning and implementing rail/highway safety projects, a safety division, a transit division for administering both rural and urban public transportation, and a special programs division. The special programs division administers the transportation enhancement, bicycle, and pedestrian program and the transportation community and system preservation pilot program.


Although the agency is fundamentally a highway agency, public transportation matters are handled under the planning and research division. Within this division are located a public transportation unit, a rural public transportation unit, and an elderly and disabled transportation unit. Besides the planning and research division, there is a design division and an operations division that report to the chief engineer. Several administrative divisions such as fiscal services, computer services, human resources, and public affairs report to the chief administrative officer. The five member highway commission is mandated in the state constitution to administer the transportation agency.


The department is organized into administration, finance, information technology, maintenance and operations, planning and modal programs, and project delivery divisions. The planning and modal programs division has separate units for aeronautics, mass transportation, rail, local assistance, transportation systems information, and transportation planning. Services related to the highway system are administered through the project delivery division. It contains functional units for engineering, design, environmental analysis, rights of way and surveys, construction, and project management.


The department consists of five major divisions for (1) accounting and finance, (2) engineering and maintenance, (3) human resources and administration, (4) aeronautics, and (5) transportation development. An 11-member Transportation Commission formulates general policy for management, construction, and maintenance of the highway and other transportation systems in the state, advises the governor and legislature on transportation policy, and adopts most of the department's budgets and programs, including construction priorities. The legislature adopts the budget for the Division of Aeronautics and the transportation department's administrative budget. A seven-member Aeronautical Board is responsible for state aviation development and the aeronautics division provides administrative support.

In Colorado, transit systems are primarily funded locally, but also receive some federal grant funds. The department maintains a transit unit within the Division of Transportation Development that is responsible for administering these federal grant funds to rural, specialized, and public transit operators throughout the state. It also provides management and planning assistance to transit operators through its association with the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies, a tax exempt trade association of public and private transit providers, human services agencies, and local and regional government agencies.

Acting jointly through authority provided by the legislature, the department and Transportation Commission have established the nonprofit Colorado Tolling Enterprise Board to finance, build, operate, and maintain new or additional highway capacity toll projects throughout the state.


The department is divided into three main divisions. The engineering and operations division deals with highway-related and motor carrier activities. The intermodal systems development division has a public transportation and modal administration unit with separate rail, transit, aviation, and seaport offices. It also has a state transportation development administrator responsible for policy and systems planning, environmental management, and transportation statistics. The third functional division in the department is responsible for finance and administrative activities.


The department is organized into six divisions. These include the operations and finance division, planning and programming division, modal division, motor vehicle division, information technology division, and highway division. All activities relating to highways are conducted by the highway division. Non-highway modes come under the modal division which has separate aviation, public transit, and rail transportation offices. Motor vehicle licensing and registration and motor carrier regulation, and vehicle enforcement activities come under the motor vehicle division. A seven-member Iowa Transportation Commission periodically reviews all of the department's programs and makes all major investment policy decisions.


The agency has six divisions only one of which, the Division of Aeronautics, is modal. The five functional divisions are the Division of Public Affairs, Division of Administration, Division of Engineering and Design, Division of Operations, and Division of Planning and Development. The Division of Planning and Development has three bureaus—program and project management, traffic safety, and transportation planning. Activities relating to federal and state funded public transportation programs are handled by the public transportation unit of the Bureau of Transportation Planning. There is also a rail affairs unit in the bureau.


The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet consists of the departments of aviation, highways, highway safety, governmental relations, and vehicle regulations. The five departments each have their own commissioners who report to the Secretary of the Transportation Cabinet. The Department of Vehicle Regulation is responsible for driver licensing, motor vehicle registration and titling, and motor carrier regulation. The Kentucky Motor Vehicle Commission, which regulates motor vehicle dealers, sales personnel, manufacturers, and distributors, is attached to the Transportation Cabinet for administrative support only. Public transportation matters appear to be administered by the Office of Transportation Delivery, which is a subunit of the Department of Governmental Relations. The office has a Human Service Transportation Branch through which it coordinates other agencies' human services transportation programs for Medicaid, vocational rehabilitation, and the disabled. The office's Public Transportation Branch oversees provision of various public transit grants for operating, capital, and technical assistance. The program providers include both nonprofit and public operators.


Highway related activities fall under the office of operations and the office of engineering. There is also an office of management and finance, an office of planning and programming, and an office of public works, hurricane and flood protection, and intermodal transportation. The intermodal transportation division has separate administrators for marine and rail, aviation, and public transportation.


The department has two main divisions, each under its own deputy commissioner. The operations and budget division includes capital resource management, environmental, project development, and maintenance and operations offices. The policy, planning, and communications division has a planning bureau, a communications office, and separate offices for freight transportation and passenger transportation.


The department consists of six functional divisions. These include an engineering services division; a finance and administration division; an operations, safety and technology division; a district operations division; a state aid for local transportation division; and a program management division. The non-highway modes come under the program management division through separate offices for aeronautics, freight and commercial vehicle operations, investment management, and transit offices.


The department is divided into four functional offices. The Office of Administrative Services provides overall agency management services. The Office of Highways is responsible for all agency functions relating to the highway system. The Office of Enforcement issues oversize vehicle permits and operates the state's truck weight enforcement program. All non-highway transportation modes fall under the Office of Intermodal Planning. There are separate divisions for aeronautics, planning, public transit, rails, and ports and waterways. All department functions come under the authority of the three-member elected Mississippi Transportation Commission.


The department is governed by a six-member Highways and Transportation Commission. The commission appoints the department's director. Units that engage in activities associated with implementing highway and bridge projects, such as planning, design, rights of way, and construction, report to the Director of Program Delivery. Other highway related units such as traffic, highway safety, maintenance, and motor carrier regulation report to the Director of System Management. All non-highway transportation modes (aviation, railroads, transit, and waterways) are together in a separate Multimodal Operations Division.


The agency is called the Nebraska Department of Roads and it is primarily a highway department organized into 12 divisions. All but one of them are functional rather than modal. The exception is the Rail and Public Transportation Division, into which all of the agencies non-highway mode activities are concentrated. There is an eight-member Highway Commission that serves in an advisory capacity to the agency director.


The department is overseen by a seven-member Board of Directors that includes the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state controller, and three department representatives. The agency is organized into functional divisions that include communications, administration, operations, and planning. Responsibility for the state rail plan, the statewide multimodal plan, and the state transit program falls within the planning division. However, actual operation of public transportation systems in Nevada falls under the authority of two independent regional transportation commissions. The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is generally responsible for the Clark County area in the southern part of the state (Las Vegas). The Regional Transportation Commission serves Washoe County (Reno and Sparks).

New Mexico

A six-member Transportation Commission establishes transportation policies for the department. The agency has an Administrative Division, Quality and Business Performance Division, Highway Operations Division, Engineering Design Division, Aviation Division, Transportation Planning Division, and Transportation Programs Division. The Transit and Rail Bureau appears to be located in the Transportation Programs Division.

New York

The agency is divided into five functional divisions for administrative services, engineering, operating, delivery, and policy and strategy. The non-highway transportation modes are handled by several offices within the Operating Division. The Office of Program Development and Management includes the Aviation Bureau, Community Assistance Delivery Bureau, Project Management Bureau, and Rail Program Delivery Bureau. The Office of Operations Management contains the Transportation Systems Operations Bureau. The Office of Safety and Security Services contains bureaus dealing with bus and passenger carrier safety, highway safety, rail safety, registration and permitting, and trucks and motor carriers.

South Carolina

The primary organization of the department is by function, but it is somewhat unusual in that matters relating to mass transportation are handled by a separate division headed by a deputy director. A seven-member Transportation Commission is the policy making body for the department. The commission appoints the department's executive director who carries out daily operations and directs the staff. There are four deputy directors who head the agency's four organizational divisions. They are the Division of Engineering, Division of Finance, Administration and Operations, Division of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Special Projects, and Division of Mass Transit. Public transportation matters, including responsibility for coordinating rail passenger service and high speed rail planning and development, are the responsibility of the mass transit division.

South Dakota

The department is organized into a division of planning and engineering, a division of operations, and a division of fiscal and public assistance. Offices of aeronautics, public transit, and railroads are part of the division of finance and management. South Dakota has a State Railroad Authority, State Railroad Board, State Aeronautics Commission, and State Transportation Commission. The railroad authority has the power to acquire property and to construct, maintain, and equip railroad facilities the legislature declares to be in the public interest for railroad purposes. The railroad Board that approves matters relating to the operation, management, finance, marketing, and development of rail services over property and facilities acquired, leased, or controlled by the state. The aeronautics commission oversees the activities of the office of aeronautics. The nine-member transportation commission oversees the department generally.


The department has an administration bureau, an engineering bureau, and an environmental bureau. The administration bureau deals primarily with agency operations, information technology, finances, and strategic planning. The engineering bureau deals primarily with highway system matters. The environmental bureau does environmental, long range, and project planning, but also handles matters relating to non-highway modes though an office of public transportation and an office of rail and water. The Office of Public transportation is responsible for transit, planning and promotion, and research and technical assistance.


The agency has five functional divisions for program development, operations, policy and planning, finance and administration, and motor vehicles. Within the operations division are sections assigned responsibility for aeronautics, rail, public transit, and intelligent transportation system programs. The operations bureau also manages the highway maintenance districts. Most of the highway project related activities come under the program development division.


The department has five functional divisions. There is the Division of State Patrol, Division of Motor Vehicles, and Division of Business Management (which handles agency administration). There is also the Division of Transportation System Development and the Division of Transportation Investment Management. All of the modal programs come under the Division of Transportation Investment Management. The division has four modal bureaus for (1) planning and economic development; (2) state highway programs; (3) aeronautics; and (4) transit, local roads, rails, and harbors.


The Connecticut Department of Transportation is organized primarily by transportation mode but also by function. It consists of the five bureaus of (1) policy and planning, (2) finance and administration, (3) engineering and highway operation, (4) aviation and ports, and (5) public transportation. All bureaus report to the commissioner who in turn reports to the governor. This modal approach is fairly common among other states as well. This model does not necessarily mean that there are not also organizational components based on functional activity, as can be seen in the Connecticut example above. We treated them as a separate type of organizational model because each exhibited at least two major organizational components based on mode of transportation rather that functional activity. Each state's organization is explained below.


The department has distinct divisions for aeronautics, intermodal transportation, motor vehicles, public transportation, and planning. It also has administrative units for program support, communication and community partnerships, and an inspector general's office. All divisions report to the department director. Arizona also has a State Transportation Board of seven members appointed by the governor. It serves in an advisory capacity to the director, but also has several separate powers and duties. It (1) makes all determinations with respect to which routes are on the state highway system and which are improved, (2) awards construction contracts and monitors the status of construction projects, (3) administers funds appropriated from the State Aviation Fund for projects at publicly-owned airports and approves airport construction, (4) determines priority program planning for transportation facilities and annually adopts a five-year construction program, and (5) has the exclusive authority to issue revenue bonds for financing state transportation improvements.


The department's organization consists of three modal divisions for airports, harbors, and highways. It has no public transportation component. There is also an 11 member commission on Transportation that serves in an advisory capacity to the state transportation director.


The department consists of aeronautics, highways, motor vehicles, public transportation, planning, and administrative services divisions. The department's activities are overseen by the seven-member Idaho Transportation board. The board establishes state transportation policy, and guides the planning, development, and management of the state transportation system. It meets monthly.


In addition to several administrative offices, the department consists of a highway division, aeronautics division, public and intermodal transportation division, and traffic safety division. The public and intermodal transportation division includes a bureau of railroads. The rail bureau administers programs for both passenger and freight rail services. Public transportation service in the greater Chicago area and northeastern Illinois operates under the Regional Transportation Authority rather than the state transportation department. The Regional Transportation authority is responsible for the rail and bus services provided by the Chicago Transit Authority, commuter rail service provided by Metra, and suburban bus services.


The department of transportation consists of six modal agencies. They are the Maryland Transit Administration, Maryland Port Administration, State Highway Administration, Motor Vehicle Administration, Maryland Aviation Administration, and Maryland Transportation Authority. The Maryland Transportation Authority is an independent agency that manages and operates the state's highway toll facilities. The state transportation secretary serves as both the head of the department of transportation and the chairman of the transportation authority.


The agency's basic organization is by function, although distinct modal units are spread throughout the organizational structure. Bureaus for highway development, highway delivery, construction, maintenance, design, and rights of way report directly to the agency's chief operations officer. Bureaus of planning, finance and administration, and aeronautics and freight services report directly to the agency's chief administrative officer. The Aeronautics and Freight Services Bureau has separate units for freight services, airports, and aviation services. Local transit, intercity bus, rail passenger and for-hire passenger regulation are administered through the Passenger Transportation Bureau, which reports directly to the agency's chief deputy director. The bureau has a program administration section to coordinate its modal administrative activities and a transportation services section that oversees and assists the various public transit agencies and service providers throughout the state. The other bureaus that report to the deputy director are government affairs, communications, economic development, and business development. A six-member State Transportation Commission establishes policy for the department with respect to programs and facilities, develops and implements the multimodal state transportation plan, and administers state and federal funds for the various programs. It has an audit office to supervise and conduct auditing activities for the department.


The state agency has an aeronautics administrator; chief engineer for highways; motor carrier services administrator; rail, transit, and planning administrator; and maintenance administrator. Montana also has a five-member Transportation Commission whose duties include selection and prioritization of construction and maintenance projects, awarding contracts, allocating federal funds, designating the state highway system, and setting speed limits and speed zones on bridges and overpasses. The state also has a nine-member Aeronautics Board that acts in an advisory capacity to the transportation department and has statutory authority over allocation of airport development loan and grant funds and pavement preservation grant funds.

New Hampshire

The agency has an Administration Division, Aeronautics Division, Operations Division (highways), Project Development Division (highways), and a Railroad and Public Transportation Division.

North Carolina

The agency consists of seven modal divisions—Aviation, Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation, Motor Vehicles, Ferry, Highways, Public Transportation, and Rail. In 2002, the legislature created an independent nine-member North Carolina Turnpike Authority to study, plan, develop, and undertake preliminary design work for a system of up to nine toll roads for the state. Upon concluding these activities, the authority is authorized to design, construct, operate, and maintain six specific toll roads that have already been identified in the authorizing legislation. The state transportation secretary serves as the chairman of the authority's board of directors.


The agency has separate public transportation, railroad, and waterways divisions as well as bridge, construction, maintenance, right of way, and traffic divisions for highways.


The five-member Oregon transportation commission establishes all state transportation policy. It also guides the planning, management, and development of the state transportation network and oversees the transportation department's activities. The transportation department consists of separate modal divisions for public transit, rail, highways, driver and motor vehicle services, motor carrier transportation, and a board of maritime pilots. There is also a central services division, transportation development division, and transportation safety division within the organizational structure.


The department of transportation consists of 14 bureaus with separate bureaus for aviation; public transportation; rail freight, ports, and waterways; and driver and vehicle services. There are also design, construction, safety and engineering, and maintenance and operations bureaus for highways; a bureau of municipal services, and several bureaus performing administrative functions such as fiscal management and information systems.


The department is governed by the five-member Texas Transportation Commission. The commission controls most transportation decisions including establishing policy for the department, developing and managing the state transportation system; developing the state transportation plan; and awarding project contracts. The commission's executive director is the state's chief transportation administrator. Transportation agency has aviation, motor carrier, motor vehicle, and public transportation divisions, as well as bridge, construction, design, maintenance, and traffic operation divisions relating to highways, several administrative divisions, a turnpike toll authority, and an automobile theft prevention section.


Highway related activities such as environmental and engineering programs, maintenance and operations, project control, and research are in a separate division that reports directly to the transportation secretary. Modal units for aviation, freight strategy and policy, local highway programs, strategic planning and programming, and public transportation and rail report to the secretary's chief of staff. Until recently, a seven-member State Transportation Commission had direct responsibility for choosing the transportation secretary, administratively overseeing the department and its transportation program, approving its budget, and approving local grants. In 2005, the department was made a cabinet level agency and the commission's responsibilities were scaled back. It is now primarily responsible for developing the state transportation plan, providing policy guidance to the governor and legislature in key transportation areas, developing a 10-year transportation investment program, reviewing performance and outcome measures for state and local transportation programs, preparing a biennial statewide multimodal transportation progress report, serving as a public forum for developing state transportation policy, setting tolls for state toll facilities, and reviewing ferry fares and setting ferry schedules.

West Virginia

The department consists of seven divisions. It differs somewhat from the other transportation agencies with modal organization in that, while three divisions—highways, motor vehicles, and public transportation— report directly to the transportation secretary, three others—aeronautics, public ports, and freight rail—are administered by authorities on which the transportation secretary sits as a board member. The seventh division, the Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority, is within the administrative structure of the transportation department but appears to operate as an independent body. The authority operates and maintains the West Virginia Turnpike, promotes the state's tourism industry, and engages in projects that promote economic and tourism development.


Several agencies appear to have no distinct public transportation components in their organizational structure, although it is possible activities like administration of federal grant funds could be done through other units. The five states with this type of structure are described below.


The agency has modal divisions for aviation, marine operations, and highways and public facilities. It has no separate division related to public transportation, but federal grants for local public transportation programs, as well as grant programs for other transportation areas, appear to be administered by a unit within the agency's Program Development Division.


The agency is organized by function. There are nine deputy commissioners, each responsible for different functional areas such as business information and technology systems, traffic management, public-private partnerships, human resources and legal services, highway management, finance and forecasting, field operations, and communications. The Division of Planning and Production appears to be where the personnel with modal program duties are located. There are separate personnel units for local programs, transit, aviation, and rail, along with various other planning, engineering, and administrative units.

North Dakota

The agency is divided into three functional areas for business support, engineering, and driver and vehicle services. The Deputy Director for Business Support oversees several divisions providing agency administrative services like information technology, communications, legal services, financial management, and human resources. The three offices of operations, transportation programs, and project development report to the Deputy Director for Engineering. There are some transportation mode related planning functions performed by the planning and programming division of the Office of Transportation Programs.


The agency is organized by function. In addition to several divisions that perform administrative functions such as legal services, communications, information services, and finances, it has a project development division, operations group, and systems and planning division. The project development division has engineering, construction, and other components relating to highway and bridge projects. The operations group includes components for motor carrier regulation and inspection, traffic and safety, aeronautics, maintenance, and intelligent transportation systems development. The systems planning and programming division has system data and pavement management, planning, program financing, and statistic components. A seven-member Transportation Commissioner advises the executive director of the department, prioritizes projects, and makes certain funding decisions for them.


A seven-member Transportation Commission governs all of the activities of the department. There are four organizational divisions under a support services administrator, chief engineer, highway patrol administrator, and aeronautics administrator. The Support Services Division includes components for driver and motor vehicle services, human resources, office services, compliance and investigation, and motor carrier fuel tax administration. The chief engineer administers the Engineering and Planning Office and the Operations Office. There appear to be no public transportation components in either division. The Aeronautics Division is governed by a seven-member aeronautics Commission and administers airport planning and engineering, operations, and air service development.


We found seven states in which governmental transportation functions seemed to be set up in separate agencies. The degree of autonomy of the agencies differs as does the number of transportation modes represented by independent or quasi-independent agencies. The seven states are Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Virginia.


● Delaware Department of Transportation

Delaware Transit Corporation

The Delaware Department of Transportation is organized similar to other transportation agencies that use the functional division model. It has distinct divisions for human resources, maintenance and operations, finance, technology and support services, public relations, planning, motor vehicles, and transportation solutions. However, public transportation is handled differently. In 1994, the legislature created a public corporation in which it consolidated all of the state's public transportation systems. The legislation merged the operations of the Delaware Administration for Regional Transit, the Delaware Administration for Specialized Transport, the Delaware Railroad Administration, and the Commuter Services Administration into a single entity, the Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC). The DTC functions as an operating division of the Department of Transportation but is, in effect a corporate subsidiary. DTC operates more than 320 transit vehicles on over 60 routes throughout the state. These services operate under the brand name Dart First State. The DTC also contracts with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority for commuter rail service, and operates park-and ride and park-and-pool parking lots throughout the state.


● State Transportation Board

● Georgia Department of Transportation

● Georgia Rail Passenger Authority

Georgia Regional Transportation Authority

The Georgia State Constitution establishes a State Transportation Board composed of as many members as there are congressional districts in the state (currently 13). The member from each congressional district is elected by majority vote of the members of the legislature, meeting in caucus, whose districts are part of the congressional district. The transportation board is empowered to select the commissioner of transportation and oversees the activities of the department.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is organized according to the functional division model. The functional divisions include administration, information technology, operations, preconstruction, construction, legal services, and planning, data, and intermodal development. The Office of Intermodal Programs in the division of Transportation Planning, Data, and Intermodal Development provides planning and operations support for the non-highway transportation modes (transit, rail, ports, waterways, and aviation). This includes short and long term planning, funding, administering grants, and managing projects.

However, in addition to the transportation department, the Georgia legislature has created two other bodies with responsibility for different aspects of developing non-highway transportation. The first is the Georgia Rail Passenger Authority (GRPA). The GRPA was created for the purpose of construction, financing, operation, and development of rail passenger service and other public transportation projects in Georgia and connecting to other surrounding states. The second entity created by the legislature is the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA). Its responsibility is to improve the state's mobility, air quality, and land use practices. The GRTA works with the counties in Georgia that have been designated nonattainment areas under the federal Clean Air Act standards (13 counties in the metropolitan Atlanta area). GRTA has initiated two transit services and operates the state vanpool program. It also produces annual reports on the region's progress on several transportation measures and on progress toward achieving the air quality standards.

The Georgia transportation department, GRTA, and GRPA have jointly undertaken the Georgia Rail Passenger Program which is aimed at reintroducing rail passenger service in the Atlanta-Athens and Atlanta-Macon corridors.


● Massachusetts Highway Department

● Massachusetts Turnpike Authority

● Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

● Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport)

Massachusetts Association of Regional Transit Authorities (MARTA)

Transportation responsibilities in Massachusetts are divided between several major organizations. Most of the highway system comes under the auspices of the Massachusetts Highway Department which is one of three entities that make up the Executive Office of Transportation. The other two are the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The Secretary of Transportation has direct oversight of these three agencies and serves as the chairman of the MBTA, which is an independent entity that operates the bus, subway, commuter rail, and ferry systems in the greater Boston area. Massport is another independent authority that operates Logan International Airport, Worcester Regional Airport, Bedford-Hanscom Field, the Tobin Memorial Bridge, and the Port of Boston.

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority is responsible for all operations of the Massachusetts Turnpike toll road and road network designated as the Metropolitan Highway System, which includes the Boston Extension from Route 128 to Logan Airport. The authority also has responsibility for the Central Artery and Ted Williams Tunnel.

MARTA is the last of the major transportation entities. It was created in 1973 as an alternative to allow for regional organization without creation of a centrally-controlled entity like the MBTA. MARTA is an association of the 15 regional transit authorities that provide public transportation services for the 231 municipalities in Massachusetts that lie outside of the MBTA district. Among its other activities, it administers the federally-funded Rural Transit Assistance Program (rural dial-a-ride systems) through a contract with the Executive Office of Transportation.

New Jersey

● New Jersey Department of Transportation

New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit)

New Jersey Turnpike Authority

The primary responsibilities for non-public transportation modes in New Jersey lie with the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The agency is organized by functional divisions for administration; finance; capital program management; operations; planning and development; government and community relations; policy, legislation, and regulatory actions; and civil rights and affirmative action. However, jurisdiction over two of the state's major highway facilities, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway (both toll roads) lies with the independent New Jersey Turnpike Authority. The commissioner of the Department of Transportation serves ex-officio on the turnpike authority.

The New Jersey Transit Corporation was created by the legislature in 1979 to acquire, operate, and contract for public transit service in the state. Virtually all of the bus, rail, and light rail services in the state, except for the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) service, come under NJTransit's purview. This includes over 236 bus routes and 11 rail lines. PATH service is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The transportation commissioner serves as the Chairman of the Board of NJ Transit.


● Ohio Department of Transportation

Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC)

The Ohio Department of Transportation is a multimodal agency organized by functional division. The functional divisions include finance and forecasting, planning, local projects, production management, contract administration, construction management, highway operations, and facilities and equipment management. Functions relating to transit and aviation services are provided by modal offices in the Division of Local Projects. However, in 1994, the legislature created the Ohio Rail Development Commission as an independent commission within the transportation department. It has 14 members, including four non-voting members of the state legislature. The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Development both have ex-officio membership on the commission.

The ORDC's mission is to plan, promote, and implement improvements in the movement of goods and people on a rail transportation network that connects Ohio nationally and internationally. Among the things the ORDC is empowered to do are: (1) providing assistance to businesses locating or expanding in Ohio with rail spurs and other rail infrastructure, (2) rehabilitating light density freight rail branch lines on small short-line and regional railroads; (3) assisting in the acquisition and continuation of branch lines, (4) addressing special problems such as mainline congestion and assisting businesses with rail-related issues, (5) assisting with the promotion of the rail-related tourism industry, and (6) planning for intercity rail service using both conventional and high speed rail. The ORDC has developed the Ohio Hub Rail Plan, which has identified a program for providing and enhancing rail service connecting Ohio's major cities with Detroit, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Toronto, as well as with other major rail networks in the Midwest.

Rhode Island

● Rhode Island Department of Transportation

● Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA)

● Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC)

● Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority

Transportation responsibilities are divided among four agencies. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is primarily responsible for the highway system, except for the Pell Bridge between Newport and Jamestown and the Mount Hope Bridge between Portsmouth and Bristol. These two toll bridges are operated by the independent Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. The transportation department is organized by functional division. The divisions include transportation development, administrative services, transportation support, and financial management. Planning, design, and construction management are under the Transportation Development Division.

Public Transit services in all but one of Rhode Island's municipalities are operated by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. RIPTA is a quasi-public, independent authority governed by an eight-member board. It is responsible for 58 statewide fixed route bus services and all of the state's paratransit and other dial-a-ride services for seniors and those with disabilities. RIPTA also operates park-and-ride services at 26 locations and the seasonal ferry service between Providence and Newport.

Airport operations at the six state-owned airports come under another agency, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. The corporation was formed in 1992 as a semiautonomous subsidiary of the Rhode Island Port Authority, which has since become the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. RIAC is responsible for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the six state-owned airports, and for the supervision of all civil airports, landing areas, navigational facilities, air schools, and flying clubs throughout the state. The six state-owned airports include T. F. Green Airport, the state's commercial airport with scheduled air carrier service, and the general aviation airports at Block Island, Newport, North Central, Quonset, and Westerly. RIAC is governed by a seven-member board of directors.


● Commonwealth Transportation Board

● Virginia Department of Transportation

● Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

● Virginia Department of Aviation

● Virginia Port Authority

● Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

● Virginia Motor Vehicle Dealer Board

● Transportation Accountability Commission

The state transportation agency organizational structure in Virginia is probably the most diverse of any state. The 17-member Commonwealth Transportation Board has the responsibility for establishing administrative policies for the entire transportation system. It allocates funding to specific projects, locates highway routes, and provides funding for airports, seaports, and public transportation. The governor appoints a Secretary of Transportation who serves in his cabinet and has policy and financial oversight responsibility for six separate state agencies. These include the Department of Transportation, Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Department of Aviation, Virginia Port Authority, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Motor Vehicle Dealer Board.

The Department of Transportation is responsible for the state highway system. Besides this, it facilitates implementation of Virginia's statewide multimodal plan, VTrans 2025, through its Multimodal Transportation Planning Office. Also, through its Innovative Project Delivery Division, it develops and implements the initiatives and program established under the Virginia Public Private Transportation Act of 1995. The division establishes the guidelines for public-private partnerships for transportation projects authorized under the law, identifies projects suitable for design-build agreements and other innovative contracting practices, and oversees consultant procurement.

The Department of Rail and Public Transportation plans, establishes, maintains, improves, and promotes public transportation services, rail passenger and freight rail systems, and demand responsive transportation programs. Its commuter services component promotes carpools, vanpools, telework, and other alternative modes of transportation for commuters.

The Department of Aviation administers the state airport system, and licenses airports and aircraft. The Virginia Aviation Board, which is appointed by the governor to represent defined geographical areas of the state, monitors the department's policies and programs, promulgates regulations for developing safe aviation practices, and allocates funds to localities for aviation development. The Virginia Port Authority owns and operates marine terminals in Norfolk, Newport News, Portsmouth, and an intermodal container transfer facility in Front Royal.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for motor vehicle registration and driver licensing services. It also has responsibility for motor carrier regulation, including vehicle size and weight enforcement and inspections. In 1995, the governor proposed and the legislature enacted laws that moved regulation and oversight of the new and used motor vehicle industry, except for the motorcycle, trailer, and recreational vehicle dealers, out of the motor vehicle department and into a separate agency. The Motor Vehicle Dealer Board consists of 19 members appointed by the governor. Nine members must be franchised motor vehicle dealers, seven independent dealers, one must be primarily engaged in vehicle rental, one in the motor vehicle salvage business, and one a consumer with no connection to the dealer industry. The commissioner of agriculture and consumer services and the commissioner of motor vehicles, who serves as the board chairman, are also members.

The Transportation Accountability Commission was created in October 2006 by executive order of the governor. Its main responsibilities are to (1) review existing methods of promoting accountability and performance in transportation; (2) recommending national best practices and quantifiable outcome measures for the major elements of the state transportation program, including those that incorporate effective land use and transportation coordination; (3) and recommending performance standards for the state transportation executive and agencies.