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DOT Strategic Plan 2012-2016

Transportation for a New Generation

Crafted with the input of our leadership, our employees and our stakeholders, the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2012–2016 re-imagines America’s transportation system as the means by which we connect with one another, grow our economy, and protect the environment. It fulfills our mission and sets the direction for DOT to provide safe, efficient, convenient, and sustainable transportation choices through five strategic goals that are supported by a wide-ranging management goal.

Complete Plan

Strategic Goals


Improving transportation safety remains DOT’s top priority. Our goal is to bring a department-wide focus on reducing transportation-related fatalities and injuries. In our safety chapter, we highlight roadway safety for all users; combating distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors; the need for a more effective Federal role in transit safety; and our strategies for addressing the most serious safety risks in other surface transportation modes and in aviation.

State of Good Repair

Recent reports on the condition of key facilities—highways, bridges, transit systems, passenger rail and airport runways—reveal that many fall short of a state of good repair and thus compromise the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the U.S. transportation system. DOT will bring a strong programmatic emphasis and new resources to improving the condition of our infrastructure. DOT will encourage its government and industry partners to make optimal use of existing capacity, minimize life-cycle costs, and apply sound asset management principles throughout the system.

Economic Competitiveness

With demand for both freight and passenger transportation expected to more than double by 2050, our goal is to support the U.S. economy by fostering smart, strategic investments that will serve the traveling public and facilitate freight movement. Our central strategies for achieving maximum economic returns on our policies and investments include leading the development of intercity, high-speed passenger rail and a competitive air transportation system; increasing travel time reliability in freight-significant highway corridors; improving the performance of freight rail and maritime networks; advancing transportation interests in targeted markets around the world; and expanding opportunities in the transportation sector for small businesses.

Livable Communities

Fostering livable communities—places where coordinated transportation, housing, and commercial development gives people access to affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation—is a transformational policy shift for DOT. Over the last 50 years, transportation spending has often been poorly coordinated with other infrastructure investments resulting in auto-dependent residential communities where access to job opportunities and key amenities is inadequate and expensive. Our livable communities chapter addresses these and other related issues to show how we will pursue coordinated, place-based policies and investments that increase transportation choices and access to public transportation services for all Americans.

Environmental Sustainability

Transportation is crucial to our economy and our quality of life, but building, operating, and maintaining transportation systems clearly have significant environmental impacts on our air, water, and natural ecosystems. The transportation sector is a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 33 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions in 2009. Our environmental sustainability chapter describes how we will address these challenges through strategies such as fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, more environmentally sound construction and operational practices, and by expanding opportunities for shifting freight from less fuel-efficient modes to more fuel-efficient modes.

Organizational Excellence

Our organizational excellence chapter outlines the management strategies we will implement to make DOT a high-performance, outcome-driven agency, and the best place to work in the Federal government.

Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2013