The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC), a part of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University, is changing its name to the Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility (SURCOM).
The name change reflects the center's expanded focus which now includes all types of personal mobility. "Public transportation is still an important component of our research, education, training and outreach efforts," director Jill Hough noted. "But shared-use mobility modes such as carsharing, bikesharing, ridesharing, on-demand transit ride services and microtransit are increasingly making inroads into rural and small-urban areas. We've been expanding our work to include those modes as we examine the needs and opportunities for mobility of residents in those areas."
SURTC (now SURCOM) was established by the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute in 2002 to address the lack of research and outreach related to mobility needs in small urban and rural areas. Since then, the center has become a leader in that field, generating internationally-recognized research and providing training and outreach across the country. An advisory panel of industry and academic specialists in mobility was assembled in the Fall of 2019 as a part of a strategic planning effort and recommended the name change and assisted in writing the center's new mission statement: "To be an innovative research, education, and outreach center providing mobility solutions to small urban and rural communities." The changes became official Jan. 1, 2020.
"The name, Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility, is a more accurate reflection of our current portfolio of activities and helps us to think more broadly about our future," Hough said. "Our vision is to be an internationally distinguished center for providing research and education for improving mobility in small urban and rural communities."
The West Region Transportation Workforce Center and the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University are hosting a webinar that explores successful collaborations between transit agencies and university students and staff. See details below for more information.
Registration Link: http://bit.ly/Impactful-Collaborations
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 5, at 11 am PT/Noon MT/1 pm CT/2 pm ET
Overview: How can transit agencies develop the skillsets of the future workforce while improving day-to-day operations? This webinar highlights successful collaborations between transit agencies and university students and faculty that accomplish both goals. Speakers will showcase collaborations that engage students in diverse transit-focused projects, providing students the opportunity to develop and apply knowledge to authentic problems in a real context, while providing agencies with fresh new ideas and focused energy on a task or issue.
Shaping the Future Skills Needed to Overcome Challenges
Maria Dahmus, Director, University of St. Thomas Sustainable Communities Partnership
Kelly Morrell, Commuter Programs Specialist, Metro Transit
Building Partnerships that Work for Rural and Regional Transit Systems
Julia Castillo, Executive Director, Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency
Harnessing Student Capacity to Address Diverse Project Needs
Andrew Martin, Development Planner, Lane Transit District
West Region Transportation Workforce Center
Western Transportation Institute, Montana State University
Webinar on Opportunities for State DOTs (and others) to Encourage Shared-Use Mobility Practices in Rural Areas
Ranjit Godavarthy, SURTC researcher and assistant professor, will be conducting a webinar on shared-use mobility practices in rural areas for the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) as part of the CUTR Transportation Webcast series.
Title: Opportunities for State DOTs (and others) to Encourage Shared-Use Mobility Practices in Rural Area
Date: September 26 at 11:00 am Central Time
Description: Shared-use mobility (SUM) practices are transportation services that are shared among users. SUM can include ‘traditional SUM’ practices such as public transit, taxis, limousines, etc., or ‘technology enabled SUM’ practices such as ridesourcing, carsharing, bikesharing, micortransit services, etc. While SUM practices exist in all size communities, their presence is less prominent in rural communities.
SUM practices have the potential to fill mobility gaps by offering fast, on-demand, and reliable transportation options. Many innovative SUM initiatives are being piloted and implemented in rural communities in conjunction with already-existing rural transit/transportation services and with business models tailored for rural communities. This study investigated various categories of SUM services such as ridesourcing, carsharing, bikesharing, and microtransit service’s applicability in rural communities and determined the potential to supplement and/or complement traditional rural transit/transportation services.
One of the outputs of the study is a five-task rural SUM toolkit for strategies such as ridesourcing, carsharing, bikesharing, microtransit, as well as rural mobility as a service (MaaS) platforms. The rural SUM toolkit can inform state DOTs, regional transportation agencies, rural transit agencies, local governments, human service agencies, and other state and local agencies about the various steps and tasks involved for strategically planning to pilot and implement relevant SUM strategies to meet the unique transportation needs in rural communities. This toolkit can be applicable for small urban communities as well.
Jeremy Mattson, SURTC researcher and assistant professor, will be conducting a webinar on transit and livability for the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) as part of the CUTR Transportation Webcast series.
Title: Transit and Livability: Results from the National Community Livability Survey
Date: September 12 at 11:00 am Central Time
Description: This webinar will present results from a national survey that was conducted to understand factors important to livability in both urban and rural areas across the country and to study the role of transportation and public transit. While many factors influence a community’s livability, affordable transportation options, such as transit services, can be an important contributor in both large and small communities. The study team conducted a survey, called the National Community Livability Survey, where respondents ranked the importance of livability factors and the quality of those factors in their communities, as well as perceived community quality of life. The survey provides information about what factors individuals in both urban and rural areas believe are important for community livability, as well as how they rate the quality of those factors in their communities. This information provides insight on how livability could be improved. An analysis of the survey data shows that livability improves as travel becomes easier, and community livability ultimately has a positive impact on overall life satisfaction. The presentation will describe the data that was collected, summarize the results, compare the results to previous case studies conducted in rural communities, and discuss the implications for improving livability and quality of life.
This webinar is based on a published SURTC report that can be downloaded here: https://www.ugpti.org/resources/reports/details.php?id=927&program=surtc
Transit II – The Pillars, a two-day training course developed by SURTC and taught by SURTC training coordinator Rob Lynch, is being offered by the Oregon Department of Transportation and is open nationally for enrollment. Details are below.
TRANSIT II – The Pillars
This course is designed to build upon a transit administrator's or supervisor's existing base of knowledge and is designed to help them further develop their managerial skills. The material will be presented through a combination of lecture and activities, requiring individual critical thinking and significant group participation. This course is broken into individual modules which cover: Advanced Human Resources; Funding and Finance; Intelligent Transportation Systems for Transit; Strategic Planning; Emergency Management and Continuity Planning; Ethics, Leadership and Organizational Culture. Prerequisite for this course: SURTC's TRANSIT I or Principles of Transit Management course
2 Open Enrollment Opportunities!
TRANSIT II – The Pillars
Monday/Tuesday – July 8/9
Oregon State University
725 SW 26th St
Corvallis, OR 97331
TRANSIT II – The Pillars
Thursday/Friday – July 11/12
3223 Bret Clodfelter Way
The Dalles, OR 97058
Cost is $295.00 per person. For more information or to register, contact Rob Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SURTC partnered with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute to conduct a National Community Livability Survey that analyzes the role of transportation and public transit in influencing community quality of life. A new SURTC report details the findings of the survey and shows the positive impact of transportation. The survey was conducted in both urban and rural areas, and results are useful for understanding factors important to livability, how livability could be improved, and how transportation contributes to livability. An analysis of the survey data shows that livability improves as travel becomes easier, which is affected by transit quality as well as the quality of roads, congestion, and traffic safety, and community livability ultimately has a positive impact on overall life satisfaction. Other important livability factors were also examined.
The full report and executive summary can be found at the link below:
For more details, contact Ranjit Godavarthy at email@example.com.
A new study published by SURTC examines the impacts of the boom and bust cycles on transit ridership and community livability in western North Dakota by calculating transit livability index measures. These measures were calculated based on six core livability principles. A major finding of this research shows that although the recent oil bust has caused considerable concern in western North Dakota, the population and transit ridership are considerably larger today than they were in 2008. The study also develops a system dynamics model to show the potential impacts from increasing transit’s mode share.
The full report and executive summary can be found at the link below:
For more details, contact Del Peterson at Del.Peterson@ndsu.edu.
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