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International Public Transportation Program

Authorized in June 1998 by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), the FTA International Public Transportation Program (IPTP) helps the U.S. transit industry access international markets and furthers the improvement of U.S. transit by highlighting overseas innovations.  Priority activities of the IPTP are:

  • Trade Promotion.  To improve U.S. transit industry global competitiveness, the IPTP partners with the transit industry and conducts trade missions, reverse trade missions and market research. Learn more about Trade Promotion.
  • International Public Transit Tenders. To inform U.S. transit manufacturers and suppliers about current international contract opportunities, the IPTP compiles and publishes its International Public Transit Tenders List twice a month. 
  • Technology Transfer.  To create a two-way exchange of knowledge, best practices and innovations between the U.S. and abroad, the IPTP participates in international conferences, technical workshops and standards working groups. Learn more about Technology Transfer.
  • Human Capacity Building. To share global knowledge, experience and best practices that improve efficiency and service quality here and abroad, the IPTP coordinates training programs for U.S. and foreign transit professionals. Learn more about Human Capacity Building.

What's New

The FTA's International Public Transportation Program Strategic Plan

The FTA International Public Transportation Program (IPTP) plays a vital role in providing the international outreach necessary to support America’s movement toward a new public transportation future for the 21st century. This Strategic Plan describes the goals, strategies and approaches that the IPTP uses to help the U.S. transit industry access international markets and improve public transportation t by highlighting international innovations.  We have set policy goals in four strategic areas: Trade Promotion, Technology Transfer, Human Capacity Building, and Mobility Access for the Disabled. The IPTP Strategic Plan also supports the U.S. Department of Transportation strategic international goals of promoting international access and involvement for U.S. transportation industries, sharing data and technology, promoting harmonization of transportation standards, and providing technical assistance.

Accessing the Global Marketplace: A Resource Guide for the Transit Industry

In recent remarks at the Export-Import Bank Annual Conference, President Obama stressed the importance of overseas trade to the health of U.S. industry, and outlined measures under the National Export Initiative to help U.S. firms compete internationally..  The President pointed out:  "Ninety-five percent of the world’s customers and the world’s fastest-growing markets are outside our borders. We need to compete for those customers because other nations are competing for them."  Given the relatively small size of the public transportation industry in the U.S., this is especially true of transit suppliers. In order to stay competitive internationally, these firms will have to become more competitive internationally. Fortunately, there is enormous demand for transportation infrastructure and products abroad. The intent of the guide is to assist medium and small firms identify these opportunities and the resources needed to take advantage of them.  

The U.S. will be hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Joint Energy and Transportation Ministerial Conference in San Francisco in September 2011

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in 1989 for voluntary cooperation among 21 member economies. Because of the importance of energy policies and practices on transportation, for the first time ever a joint meeting of the Energy Working Group and Transportation Group will be held in San Francisco in September.  Energy and Transportation Ministers and other high level officials representing the economies of the Asia – Pacific region will be in attendance.  The major themes of the Conference are: transportation’s role in a clean energy future, energy and transport systems for livable low-carbon communities, low Carbon transport fuels – biofuels and electricity, and greening the supply chain: energy efficient freight transport. Private sector transportation companies interested in participating in the conference should contact Kay Nordstrom at

FTA will be Highlighting the Role of Transit in Rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina at the International Transportation Forum (ITF) in Leipzig, Germany in 2011

The ITF, which takes place each year in Leipzig, Germany, gathers high-level government officials and policy makers from 52 countries.  Secretary LaHood is expected to lead the US delegation to this year’s event, which will focus on the theme of “Transportation and Society.” The FTA IPTP is contributing to the Livable Communities panel at the Forum.  The Workshop will discuss public transportation’s role in rebuilding the City of New Orleans following the nation’s most devastating recent natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina.

Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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