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Research and Implementation

The Research Program Management (RPM) section is located within the Research Division of the Bureau of Planning and Research. The RPM section develops, manages, and administers the PennDOT Research Program. The Research Program strives to support the strategic agenda of PennDOT by initiating and managing project activities that attempt to solve real-world transportation issues.

The following are descriptions of research contracting mechanisms / programs currently being used:

DWRI – The Department Wide Research Initiatives (DWRI) program is useful when a district office or central office bureau has an available contracting mechanism of their own. Research funding is then used to financially support the initiation of the project. 

ECMS –The Engineering and Construction Management System (ECMS) provides up-to-date information on PennDOT’s construction projects, construction contracts and consultant agreements. Legal agreements are created and work orders, under those agreements, are initiated for numerous research projects. 

IGA - Intergovernmental Agreement  - Allows the Research Division to coordinate with the following universities to conduct Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and traffic operations related research: 

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Maryland

Master Agreements – The Research Division coordinates with multiple state universities and colleges to conduct research through Master Agreements with the Department of General Services. Master Agreements are currently available with the following:

  • Drexel University
  • East Stroudsburg University
  • Juniata College
  • Penn State University
  • Temple University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Villanova University

RFP – Request for Proposals (RFP) are utilized to competitively procure vendors for research projects.

TPF –The Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) program is designed to maximize the financial commitments of the PennDOT Research Program by leveraging other state DOT research funding. A "pool" of states each contributes a share to an overall project, thus decreasing any financial commitment from one state. PennDOT participates in multiple pooled fund projects annually. A current list of TPF projects can be found under the Research Projects List.

When research projects are nearing completion, the RPM section determines if the project results can be implemented. In determining the results for implementation into business practices, PennDOT evaluates how the product or process can maximize the department's return on research investments and advance its strategic goals and objectives.

To view all projects, check out our Projects List.