Last week, the Accessibility Observatory was featured on the University of Minnesota Inquiry blog as a highlight from a year of excellence in research in FY2016.
The post highlighted the Observatory’s new National Accessibility Evaluation Pooled-Fund Study, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and 11 other transportation agencies across the country. As part of the $1.6 million, five-year project, Observatory staff will create a new national accessibility dataset at the Census block level that describes accessibility to jobs for both driving and transit.
Car to Go. Hour Car. Uber. Lyft. Nice Ride. These and other “shared-use mobility” options are making their way into more cities across the country, including RCP’s partner community, Brooklyn Park. As the City prepares for the arrival of light-rail transportation (LRT) service and evaluates options for improving mobility for residents without access to an automobile, it is considering whether—and how—to integrate such services into its transportation planning.
As a suburban community, Brooklyn Park is nowhere near as dense as Minneapolis or St. Paul. This has created challenges for the City in thinking about how to include services like Hour Car or Uber as solutions to current transportation needs. They may not seem like an obvious choice for a suburb, but through robust community engagement efforts, City staff learned that residents were interested in more shared-use mobility alternatives. The City is now considering such options as a larger, targeted investment in transportation.
For a typical transit user, every minute waiting at a stop feels longer than it actually is. But basic amenities—shelters and benches—at transit stops significantly reduce riders’ perceived waiting times, according to a U of M study.
“Basic amenities are especially important for lines without frequent service,” said Yingling Fan, associate professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, at a fall CTS research seminar. “However, high-amenity stops are often on lines with high-frequency service. Based on our findings, we recommend providing basic amenities at stations and stops as broadly as possible.”
As part of the Global Transit Innovations (GTI) program, Humphrey School Associate Professor Yingling Fan is writing a new book that will share lessons learned from her study of transit development in 20 U.S. metropolitan regions.
GTI was established last year by CTS in partnership with Fan, who also serves as GTI director. In this Q&A, Fan shares thoughts about her upcoming book, the link between transit and urban development, what’s needed for a transit revival, and more.
U of M researchers have developed a way to identify the exact location of “hot spots” for air pollutants created by transit buses—work that could be used to create new strategies for addressing emission hot spots in the future.
The research team, led by Professor David Kittelson of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME), began by collecting data using two different instrumented buses, one with a standard diesel engine and automatic transmission and another with a hybrid engine and selectively enabled start-stop technology (both model year 2013). Nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions and GPS data were recorded for each bus during spring, summer, and fall on an inner city route with frequent stops and slow speeds, a medium-speed route with longer distances between stops, and an express route that required little braking.
A new video recaps a study that analyzed the mismatch between job vacancies and the unemployed in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
According to the study, the mismatch between unemployed workers and job vacancies is a serious problem in the region and it appears to have worsened since the turn of the millennium. The biggest concentrations of unemployed workers lack fast or frequent transit service to some of the richest concentrations of job vacancies, particularly vacancies in the south and southwest metro. At the same time, these job seekers may be able to reach many nearby jobs in the metro core but lack the needed qualifications for them.
A special issue of Transport Policy focused on transit investment and land development features papers authored by three CTS scholars: Jason Cao, Yingling Fan, and Andrew Guthrie.