By: Rosemarie Anderson, FHWA Office of Safety

MATCH logoFHWA recently launched the MATCH program to provide broad-based technical assistance to local and Tribal agencies facing roadway safety challenges. The program connects agencies requesting assistance (mentees) with peer mentors who have specific expertise to help successfully address the identified challenges. The technical assistance is free for mentees, and mentors volunteer their time to help peers.

Local and Tribal agencies own and operate approximately 75 percent of the Nation’s roadway network, many of which are in rural areas. Although FHWA and State departments of transportation (DOT) have a history of working with local and Tribal agencies to improve safety on local and Tribal roads, only a finite number of safety practitioners in the multitude of local road agencies can be reached. This program will augment efforts by FHWA and support local and Tribal road practitioners with integrating safety into their roadway programs. The diversity of these agencies leads to a variety of ways that roadway safety problems are addressed and evaluated. This means there are varying degrees of success of safety implementations, and a mentoring program allows for the potential to learn from and build on previous experience from peers.

Local and Tribal agencies often face unique safety challenges on their roads involving roadway departure, intersection safety, speed management, and pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The MATCH program leverages the mentor’s knowledge and experience to provide short-term technical assistance to local and Tribal agencies wanting to resolve safety or safety-related concerns or issues. Mentors will assist in identifying the problem and recommend appropriate strategies for implementation when paired with mentees. This enables mentee agencies to benefit from this knowledge to potentially save lives and reduce serious injuries on the roadways.

All local and Tribal agencies are eligible to apply for technical assistance from a mentor through the MATCH program. For assistance, prospective mentee agencies must fill out and submit a short online application. Requests must be directly submitted by a public official. When necessary, FHWA may coordinate with the mentee’s respective State DOT or FHWA division office to support the mentoring request. Once a request is submitted, the program manager will reach out to the applicant within 48 hours. Upon approval for the program, the applicant will be matched with a mentor.

If you are interested in serving as a mentor, email and provide your name, agency (or prior agency if retired), job position/role, years of relevant experience, relevant certifications (if appropriate), and description of areas/expertise where you feel you would best serve as a mentor.

Public agency transportation safety professionals who have specific expertise related to local or Tribal road safety can serve as mentors. Mentors must be actively employed by or retired from a public transportation agency with a minimum of 5 years of continuous transportation safety experience. Mentor’s schedules will be accommodated; however, they will be asked to make a commitment to assist the mentees. Both mentors and mentees will be required to produce a short report once the activity is completed in an effort to document and share noteworthy practices.

Mentoring can be provided in the form of phone calls, email exchanges, web conferences, or site visits. The level of mentoring will vary based on the mentee’s needs. The MATCH coordinator will match mentors with mentees based on the required expertise and mentor availability and will identify the best mentoring delivery method.

Local and Tribal agencies interested in receiving technical assistance through the MATCH program should fill out the application available at /local_rural/MATCH.

To learn more about the MATCH program, visit /local_rural/MATCH or contact Rosemarie Anderson at