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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Contact Us

Situated in the heart of Kendall Square, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center is just one block away from the Boston Marriott Cambridge Hotel, near the MIT/Kendall Stop on the MBTA Red Line.

John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
U.S. DOT/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
220 Binney Street
Cambridge, MA 02142-1093

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Visit the U.S. DOT Volpe Center

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center welcomes more than 2,000 visitors every year from government, industry, and academia. International visitors include delegations from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Our facility is wheelchair accessible.

Security ProceduresVolpe Visitor Guide

Official visitors are those who have been invited by a U.S. DOT Volpe staff member or on-site contractor, or any federal employee whose PIV is not enrolled for facility access.

Visitors must pass a security screening checkpoint. It is the host's responsibility to meet guests upon arrival, or when contacted by a security guard, and to escort visitors at all times.

Large group visits (20+ visitors) should be coordinated with security in advance.

Visitor notifications should be sent to Eleanor.Pynn@dot.gov and include date of visit, time of visit, # of visitors, visitors names, escort’s name(s) and reason for visit.

Hosts should provide their guest their contact information as the front desk will call your office to notify you upon visitor arrival.

Accepted Forms of Photo ID

As a federal facility, all visitors are required to present valid (not expired) photo identification to enter the facility. Hosts should ensure their guest has one of the required photo identifications listed below and make sure it is current as we cannot accept expired identification cards.

Photo identification must be shown at the security desk. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your host.

Real ID and Enhanced Drivers Licenses are accepted until May 2025. Visitors should review the forms of identification (e.g., U.S. passport or PIV card) before arrival. Foreign guests must use their passports.

All visitors must provide one of the following valid/current government identifications to be allowed entry into the facility:

  • Current/Valid State Issued Driver’s License
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • Personal Identification Verification (PIV) cards
  • Driver’s license issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (e.g., Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, DOD civilians)
  • U.S. permanent resident card
  • U.S. certificate of naturalization or certificate of citizenship
  • Employment authorization document issued by DHS with photo
  • U.S. refugee travel document or other travel document or evidence of immigration status issued by DHS containing a photo
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
  • Merchant mariner credential issued by DHS
  • Native American tribal photo ID
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Personal Identification Verification – Interoperable (PIV-I) cards
  • Identification cards issued by state, county or city government containing name, photo, and expiration date

Visitor Parking

Very limited parking is available for all visitors. Visitors should be strongly encouraged to use public transportation. Parking garages available in the area can be found in our Visitor’s Guide.

Advance approval is required to use visitor parking spaces. A visitor parking request must be submitted a minimum of two business days in advance and receive approval of the request prior to visitor parking. Overnight parking by visitors is not permitted. Weekend/Non-Workday (i.e., holiday) parking is not permitted by visitors unless approved by security for work-related reasons. Visitor vehicles are subject to screening and inspection by security.

Below is a map that shows where the visitor lot is located at 220 Binney Street.

Visitor Parking Lot Map

visitor parking lot map

Prohibited Items

In compliance with Regulation Title 41 CFR 102-74.440, Subpart C, federal law prohibits the possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons in federal facilities and federal court facilities by all persons not specifically authorized by Title 18, United States Code, Section 930. Violators will be subject to fine and/or imprisonment for periods up to five years.

Prohibited firearms and projectile weapons includes but is not limited to the following list.

  • Firearms or similar device that expels a projectile through the action of an explosive (unless meeting the exemptions listed in 18 U.S.C. § 930(d))
  • BB or pellet guns
  • Compressed air guns
  • Antique firearms
  • Flare guns
  • Realistic replica or toy firearms (unless meeting the exemptions listed in 18 U.S.C. § 930(d))
  • Spear guns
  • Starter pistols
  • Stun guns, cattle prods, dart-firing stun guns, and other electric weapons or controlled device
  • Ammunition, shotgun shells or firearm cartridges, black powder, smokeless propellant powder (unless meeting the exemptions listed in 18 U.S.C. § 930(d)
  • Slingshots

Prohibited bladed, edged, or sharp weapons includes but is not limited to the following list.

  • Saws, including cordless portable power saws
  • Scissors, metal with pointed tips
  • Screw drivers (except those in eyeglass repair kits)
  • Drills, including portable power drills
  • Tools including but not limited to wrenches, pliers, and folding, multi-purpose utility tools, etc.

Prohibited club-like items and striking devices includes but is not limited to the following list.

  • Billy clubs
  • Blackjacks
  • Brass knuckles
  • Chains more than 12 inches (jewelry exceptions can be made)
  • Night sticks (unless meeting the exemptions listed in 18 U.S.C. § 930(d))
  • Martial arts weapons, including nun chucks and Ku batons

Prohibited destructive devices, explosives, or any chemical compound or mixture that has a property of yielding readily to combustion or oxidation upon the application of heat, flame, or shock includes but is not limited to the following list.

  • Blasting caps or detonators
  • Dynamite, nitroglycerin, trinitrotoluene, ammonium nitrate, and others
  • Fireworks
  • Gunpowder
  • Hand grenades, mine, bomb, rocket, missile, pipe bomb, or plastic explosives
  • Realistic replicas of explosives or similar devices
  • Explosive or expanding gases
  • Gas torches
  • Flammable liquids (i.e., gasoline, turpentine, and paint thinner) (unless meeting the exemption listed in 18 U.S.C. § 930(d)(3))

The prohibited list of disabling chemicals and other dangerous items includes but is not limited to the following list.

  • Mace, pepper spray, tear gas, tear gas gun, or other chemical spray designed for self-defense (unless meeting the exemption listed in 18 U.S.C. § 930(d))
  • Spillable batteries, except those in wheelchairs or similar devices used by a mobility impaired individual
  • Spray paint (unless meeting the exemption listed in 18 U.S.C. § 930(d)(3))
  • Poisonous gases