Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards


The Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards (TSTAs) recognize outstanding initiatives to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state, consistent with ongoing efforts to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans, provide for a strong economy, and protect and enhance our state’s natural resources. Eligible entities include: federal, State (excluding divisions under the Tennessee Departments of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) and Transportation (TDOT)), and local governments; commercial, nonprofit, and industrial organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; and utilities. The entity must be located in Tennessee, and the project must have been completed in the last five years. All nominees must have a minimum of three consecutive, current years of exceptional environmental compliance with the Department of Environment and Conservation. Self-nominations are encouraged. 

The TSTAs are awarded each year by TDEC and TDOT. Winners of the TSTAs are honored at a special ceremony during the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo (STF&E). Winners will also receive an engraved award made of sustainably sourced materials. 

Information on past TSTA winners has been archived by year. If you have questions about the TSTAs, please contact OEP Communications Officer Audrey Jackson at Audrey.Jackson@tn.gov or 615-917-6683. 

Projects must meet the following eligibility requirements.

  • Eligible entities include federal, State (excluding divisions under TDEC and TDOT), and local governments; commercial, non-profit, and industrial organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; and utilities.
  • Projects must be located within or have occurred in Tennessee. A project that is part of a regional or national initiative must have a significant Tennessee nexus.
  • Projects must have been completed in the last five years. 
  • Nominees must have a minimum of three consecutive, current years of exceptional environmental compliance with TDEC.
  • Applicants must agree to allow a summary of their accomplishments to be published by the State of Tennessee and/or the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Projects that were awarded a TSTA in the past may not be awarded again, unless significant changes to the project have occurred in the interim. 

The TSTAs seek to recognize projects, programs, and initiatives in Tennessee that improve or enhance performance in various aspects of sustainable transportation. Projects should demonstrate achievements in one or more categories, including but not limited to:

  • Sustainable planning efforts, such as the linkage of land use planning with growth planning and transportation planning
  • Planning for or provision of infrastructure for enhanced multimodal transportation (e.g., transit and rail investments, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, port facility improvements, bridge investments, etc.)
  • Livable community initiatives (e.g., transit-oriented development, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, protected bike lanes, walkable neighborhoods, etc.)
  • Improvements to transit systems 
  • Emissions reductions from on-road mobile sources (e.g., cars, trucks, buses, etc.) and non-road sources (e.g., road construction equipment, barges, locomotives, etc.)
  • Promotion and use of cleaner, alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies (e.g., planning and deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure; fleet adoption of alternative fuel vehicles; implementation of advanced vehicle technologies such as fleet telematics, idle reduction equipment, etc.)
  • Improvements to air quality in areas that bear a disproportionate share of the air pollution burden
  • Transportation demand management (e.g., employer based initiatives, subsidized trip reduction programs, etc.)
  • Transportation planning optimization or optimized improvements to infrastructure, fleet, supply chain, or logistics to increase efficiency (e.g., diverting truck freight to more efficient modes such as barge or rail, addressing bottleneck issues, reduction in truck queuing, etc.)
  • Research and development to improve the transportation sector
  • Resiliency of transportation systems through improved access to mobility solutions, transportation fuel diversification, and/or planning and preparedness

TDEC and TDOT intend to consider the following criteria in evaluating project nominations. In your nomination, please provide sufficient information regarding the ways in which your project addresses one or more of the following criteria:

  • Innovation: How the project utilized new thinking or creative approaches to meet a particular transportation challenge
  • Best Practices and Replicability: How the project demonstrates a transferable solution, such that others could adopt or implement similar programs or initiatives
  • Changes in Transportation Behavior: How a project worked to encourage or achieve changes in transportation behavior in order to make a transportation system more efficient
  • Improvements to Public Health, Resilience, and Safety: How a project creates improvements to public health, well-being, or safety in a given community
  • Equity and Access: How the project provides sustainable transportation benefits to all community members and creates accessible mobility solutions for diverse audiences

Nominations for the TSTAs are closed.