The Florida Bar

Transportation Law

December 14, 2022

Transportation law deals with public transportation on public highways and airspace, and is governed by both state and federal laws. Transportation laws can apply very broadly at the transport system level (such as laws pertaining to highways generally) or more narrowly to the transport of specific things (such as moving of highly flammable materials).

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) sets broad transportation policy for the country. The DOT was established by Congress in 1966 “to assure coordinated, effective administration of the transportation programs of the Federal Government.” Under the DOT, there are 11 sub-agencies who are responsible for things such as highway planning, urban mass transit, railroad, aviation, and highways.

Some important federal laws which affect public transportation include:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: requiring transit agencies and public carriers to provide accessibility to persons with disabilities.
  • The Clean Air Act and Amendments: requiring transportation planning agencies and projects to provide for improved air quality as a metric and goal.

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or substitute for the advice of a lawyer.