Travel awards help U of M students attend TRB

CTS and the Roadway Safety Institute provided 18 U of M graduate students with travel awards to attend the Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual conference in Washington, DC, in January. The travel awards allow students interested in transportation to learn about the latest transportation research, network with professionals, and, in some cases, present their work.

Read what this year’s participants had to say about their experience.

Posted in Education, Events

Minnesota Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting Initiative highlighted in FHWA case study

Work on bike and pedestrian counting by University of Minnesota researchers and MnDOT has been highlighted as part of the FHWA’s Livable Communities Case Study Series.

The case study features the Minnesota Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting Initiative, led by the U of M’s Greg Lindsey and MnDOT’s Lisa Austin and Jasna Hadzic. Under the initiative, the team has developed general guidance and consistent methods for counting bikes and pedestrians. Team members have also worked with other state and local agencies to implement counting strategies across Minnesota.

Posted in Bicycling, Pedestrian, Planning, Safety, Traffic data, Transportation research

Future drivers learn safety lessons at Creativity Festival

studentsAs part of its outreach and workforce-education efforts, the Roadway Safety Institute (RSI) presented a roadway safety lesson to 90 students in grades 3–4 during the Creativity Festival on January 14.

The Creativity Festival, a program of Success Beyond the Classroom, introduces students to the value of creative thinking across a wide array of fields ranging from engineering to art.

Posted in Education, Safety

Better job accessibility drives MnPASS subscriptions

interstateIn recent years, many metropolitan-area highway systems have created high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. Typically, the use of these lanes is restricted during peak periods to carpools and those paying a toll for access, which commonly requires enrollment in an electronic tolling program and the use of an electronic transponder.

To better understand why drivers enroll in Minnesota’s MnPASS electronic tolling system, University of Minnesota researchers investigated the factors that drive subscriptions. Their findings indicate that households are more likely to have MnPASS subscriptions in areas where the MnPASS system provides a greater increase in accessibility to jobs.

Posted in Technology, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Uncategorized, Urban transportation

Transportation and supply chain decisions play a key role in reducing carbon emissions

trucksReducing carbon emissions has become a growing concern for governments and companies worldwide. Firms are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint because of regulatory requirements and pressure from their own consumers and shareholders. Most of the carbon-cutting measures taken by companies, however, have focused on often-costly strategies such as replacing equipment, redesigning products and packaging, finding less-polluting sources of energy, or instituting energy-savings programs.

Posted in Environment, Freight, Transportation research

Transportation Expenditures as % of GDP in Minnesota.

This post features an analysis of data from the Minnesota Transportation Finance Database.

This figure shows the relative size of direct transportation expenditures, across levels of government, as a share of annual GDP in Minnesota. The measures are direct expenditures: state transportation expenditure includes federal transportation grants to the state but not grants that are allocated to local governments; local transportation expenditures include not only local transportation efforts, but also transportation grants they receive from the federal or state government. The figure shows that the shares have been decreasing significantly since 2007. (Note: Data for 2012 and 2013 are predicted based on the 2007-2011 trend.)

Transportation Expenditures as % of GDP in Minnesota

Posted in Minnesota Transportation Finance Database

Travel behavior study shows drivers are spending less time traveling and more time at home

travelbehaviorSomething unprecedented has happened to Americans’ travel patterns. Even before the recent recession, total distance traveled per person had started to decline, and the rate of total vehicle travel had begun to steadily decrease as well.

In a new five-part series of research reports sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council, U of M researchers are delving into a set of rich data encompassing more than four decades of travel behavior surveys to enable the region’s transportation planners to better understand how its residents make decisions about whether, when, where, and why to travel.

Posted in Accessibility, Planning, Transportation research, Travel Behavior
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