Established in 1998 by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), the National Transportation Library (NTL):
- Provides national and international access to transportation information
- Coordinates information creation and dissemination
- Offers reference services for the transportation community
NTL’s initial services consisted of serving as a digital library of full-text documents and a virtual reference service and providing support for the National Transportation Knowledge Network (NTKN).
Its authorized role was expanded in 2012’s Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) which mandated NTL:
- Acquire, preserve and manage transportation information and information products and services for use by US Department of Transportation (US DOT), other Federal agencies, and the public
- Provide reference and research services
- Serve as a central repository for DOT research results and technical publications
- Serve as a central clearinghouse for transportation data and information of the Federal Government
- Serve as coordinator and policy lead for transportation information access
- Coordinate among and cooperate with multiple external parties to develop a “comprehensive transportation information and knowledge network” to support the I-XI list [information required of BTS at 49 USC 6302((b)(3)(B)(vi)]
- Publicize, facilitate and promote access to information products and services
From 2013, NTL has been the centerpiece of US DOT’s response to the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy’s (OSTP’s) memorandum, Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research, serving as the public repository and point of access for DOT-funded research.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology of US DOT, administers the National Transportation Library.