New Research Project: Measuring the Economic Benefits of Rural and Small Urban Transit Service in Greater Minnesota
SURTC is starting a new project for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) that will measure the benefits of rural and small urban transit service throughout Minnesota. The scope of the project includes all public transportation agencies outside of the Twin Cities metro area. The study team will develop a framework and tool that can be used by transit agencies and planners for identifying and measuring the benefits of transit services. A series of case studies will be conducted across the state to measure the benefits of specific transit services. The project, which is scheduled to be completed by April 2020, will produce a detailed report as well as educational material that can be used by transit agencies, planners, and stakeholders. This research will provide the necessary information to objectively assess the benefits of public spending on rural and small urban transit services, which would give decision-makers the data needed to allocate resources to programs that would provide the greatest benefit. The research will provide information to local leaders and MnDOT about the benefits of transit in Greater Minnesota. For more information, contact Jeremy Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dilip Mistry has joined the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center as a postdoctoral research fellow. He has more than 10 years of work experiences in the field of Data Science, working as a GIS Data Analyst, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Consultant, and Oracle Business Intelligence Consultant. He will receive his Ph.D. in Transportation and Logistics from NDSU in August. For the last 8 years, while pursuing Ph.D., he was also working full time at HERE Technologies as Data Scientist/Data Analyst. He holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from North Dakota State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). In 2018, he was named the Region VIII Mountain-Plains Consortium Student of the Year. View his full bio.
SURTC will be conducting training for TRANSIT I – The Foundations in Oregon in July. Any interested participant can open enroll. There are two opportunities to attend this course: Salem, OR, July 23-24, 2018, and Warm Springs, OR, July 25-26, 2018.
Description: This course is intended to provide new transit managers with a base of information and resources to assist in navigating through the maze of transit management responsibilities. For those who have managed programs for a number of years, it provides exposure to key elements of management and transit program assessment that previously you may not have taken the time to address or implement. This course is broken into individual modules which cover: Introductory Human Resources; Vehicle and Facility Maintenance Programs; Safety and Risk Management; General Administration for Transit Agencies; Financial Management and Introduction to the Federal Transit Administration.
Lunch will be provided.
Option #1 Location:
Salem, Oregon (ODOT Region 2 Campus, 885 Airport Rd SE, Building X)
July 23-24, 2018 (Mon-Tues)
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Option #2 Location:
Warm Springs, Oregon (Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, 6823 Highway 8)
July 25-26, 2018 (Wed-Thur)
8:00am – 5:00pm
More information can be found here: TRANSIT I Course Details – Oregon, July 2018
Registration Closes June 25, 2018
A new research project funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) will study opportunities for shared-used mobility practices in rural areas. Shared-use mobility refers to transportation services that are shared among users. This includes public transit and taxis, as well as emerging services such as bike-sharing, car-sharing, ride-sharing (carpooling, vanpooling), ride-sourcing (Uber, Lyft, etc.), shuttle services, and others. The research project, which is titled "Opportunities for State DOTs (and others) to Encourage Shared Use Mobility Practices in Rural Areas," will document emerging practices, study the applicability to rural areas, develop a best practices tool-kit, and provide guidance on the role that government, state DOTs, rural transit agencies, transportation planning agencies, and others will need to play to advance shared-use mobility practices in rural areas. SURTC is leading the project, in cooperation with WSP. For more details, contact Ranjit Godavarthy at email@example.com.
The National Transit Institute is conducting a two-day course titled "Systems Engineering for Technology Projects," April 25-26, 2018, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mohammad Smadi from the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute will be instructor. This course will discuss systems engineering, a structured development process for implementing technology systems. It is an introductory level course geared for people with little or no experience with systems engineering but who are involved or will be involved with a technology project. The target audience is transit professionals involved with planning, writing requirements, and implementing technology projects but don't have experience with systems engineering. This course is geared towards medium to large transit agencies. Click below for more details or to register:
Dilip Mistry, a doctoral student in Transportation & Logistics within the College of Business at NDSU was named the Region VIII Mountain-Plains Consortium Student of the Year, Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Each year, the U.S. Department of Transportation honors an outstanding student for achievement and potential future contributions to the transportation field. Students are selected based on their accomplishments, academic merit, research and leadership. The award was made at the Council of University Transportation Centers meeting held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.
In 2017, in work with the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute's Small Urban and Rural Transit Center, Mistry developed a predictive model to assess issues related to keeping the transportation system in a state of good repair. The work will help transit agencies predict when transit assets need to be rehabilitated and replaced, and make decisions on investments and priorities to maintain state-of-good-repair needs.
See the news article on the UGPTI website for more information about Mistry's accomplishments and the Student of the Year Award.
SURTC has published its 2017 edition of the Rural Transit Fact Book. This publication is intended to serve as a national resource for statistics and information on rural transit in America. The Fact Book includes rural demographic and travel behavior data as well as financial, operating, and fleet statistics and performance measures for agencies receiving section 5311 funding. In addition to national level data, statistics are presented by state, FTA region, tribe, and mode, as well as other agency characteristics.
The 2017 edition is an expanded version that includes a section on county-level demographic information, presenting county-level population data for older adults, people with disabilities, and those living below the poverty line. This edition also provides more detailed information on the geographic coverage of rural transit services across the country.
The Rural Transit Fact Book presents agency level data from the Rural National Transit Database (NTD) and rural demographic and travel data from the American Community Survey and the National Household Travel Survey.
SURTC is looking for rural or small urban transit pictures to use in our upcoming publications. We would greatly appreciate it if any transit providers have pictures they would be willing to share and allow us to use in publications such as the Rural Transit Fact Book. We will give proper credit for any pictures that we use. If you have any pictures that you can share, please send them to Jeremy Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new study published by SURTC investigated the current state of aging in place in small urban and rural settings throughout the country and quantified the costs for residents to live at home and ride public transportation versus moving to an assisted living facility. Overall, simulation results showed that the cost of assisted living was almost always higher compared to other alternatives. Homeowners without mortgages had the lowest costs followed by apartment dwellers and homeowners with mortgages. Policy makers should consider the potential cost savings from aging in place found in this study. Seniors and their families can potentially save thousands of dollars annually by remaining at home and utilizing home health and public transportation services.
The full report and executive summary can be found at the link below:
For more details, contact Del Peterson at Del.Peterson@ndsu.edu.
The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University will celebrate its 50th Anniversary Wednesday, Aug. 30, from noon to 4 p.m. with safety and transportation exhibits, free food, and information about the Institute and its history.
The celebration will be held on the south end of NDSU Visitor Parking Lot E. There will be a brief program at 12:30 featuring comments from UGPTI and university officials as well as representatives from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum's office and the offices of North Dakota Senators John Hoeven, Heidi Heitkamp, and ND Congressman Kevin Cramer.
Hands-on exhibits will be open until 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
- Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute will display exhibits about its history as well as current research, outreach and education programs.
- ND Army National Guard will display one of its vehicles and will serve hot dogs to the first 500 visitors.
- ND Army National Guard will demonstrate the hazards of impaired driving through the use of impaired driving simulation goggles and large trikes on an obstacle course.
- MATBUS will have one of its buses on display and will provide route information and giveaways.
- Great Rides Bikeshare will exhibit one of its bikes and staff will be available to answer questions.
- Bike FM will provide information about bike routes and biking in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
- The ND Department of Transportation will have a hologram board and virtual reality goggles to simulate impaired driving and involvement in a crash.
- FM Ambulance will display one of its state-of-the-art ambulances.
- FM Transportation Club will demonstrate the "no zone" by allowing visitors to climb into the cab of a semi so they can see the blind spots that drivers should avoid.
- MState in Moorhead will allow visitors to experience driving a "big rig" through the use of its truck-driving simulator.
- CAT will allow participants to learn how to operate a motor grader or large excavator through the use of one of its simulators.
- NDSU Police and Safety Office has arranged for display of the Deutscher Family Vehicle. The Deutscher family was killed by a drunk driver in 2012. The display allows viewers to see first-hand the tragic result of drunken driving.
- NDSU Police and Safety will also allow visitors to don "beer goggles" and play Mario Cart to demonstrate the effects of impaired driving.
In addition to the exhibits and demonstrations, staff of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute will be available to answer questions about the Institute and its programs. The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute was created in 1967 by the North Dakota Legislature to study the unique transportation challenges facing agricultural producers and processors in the region. The institute has broadened its mission substantially and creatively, responding to emerging needs. Its current mission is to provide innovative transportation research, education, and outreach that promote the safe and efficient movement people and goods.
For more information contact Tom Jirik, UGPTI communications coordinator, at email@example.com or (701) 231-9629.