Posts categorized under "Research"

Webinar: Exploring Transit's Contribution to Livability in Rural Communities

SURTC researchers Ranjit Godavarthy and Jeremy Mattson will join researcher Jonathan Brooks from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute to present a webinar on transit's contribution to livability in rural communities. The webinar, which is part of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) webcast series, will be October 27 at 11:00 am central time.

Presenters will discuss an ongoing research study for the U.S. Department of Transportation about rural community livability and the role of public transportation. The definition of livability varies from community to community. Public transit may contribute to livability in one or more ways. The presenters will share a recently developed methodology to define livability locally and identify the potential transit markets specific to a community. The methodology was developed and tested in communities across the country. Results will be presented from cases studies conducted in small communities in the following states: Texas, Maine, Missouri, Oregon, and North Dakota. Click on the links below for more information and to view the webinar.

Upcoming CUTR Webcast: Exploring Transit’s Contribution to Livability in Rural Communities

Link for viewing the webinar

Research Report – Estimating Ridership of Rural Demand-Response Transit Services for the General Public

A new SURTC study developed two new models for estimating demand for rural demand-response transit services for the general public. Lack of data for demand-response service characteristics and geographic coverage has previously limited the development of such models. The first model developed in this study used data from the 2013 rural National Transit Database, and the second used more detailed service data collected from surveys of transit agencies. Ridership was found to significantly increase when the percentage of the population comprised of older adults or people without access to a vehicle increased. The second model analyzed the impacts of service span and reservation requirements on ridership. Results showed that providing more days of service had an expected positive impact on ridership, while allowing users to reserve rides on shorter notice also had a significant positive effect. Click on the link below to see the full report or a summary of the study:

Estimating Ridership of Rural Demand-Response Transit Services for the General Public

For more information, contact Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu.

Research Report – Workforce Development and Succession Planning to Prepare the Rural Transit Industry for the Future

SURTC has published a study that addresses the perceived workforce development and succession planning difficulties in the rural public transit industry. Researcher Del Peterson conducted a national survey of rural transit managers to determine current workforce development practices as well as succession planning procedures. Responses were received from 160 agencies in 40 states. The report summarizes the findings and provides recommendations. The majority of transit agency managers responding to the survey have been employed by their agency for more than 15 years while 75% of total respondents were 50 years of age or older. One-third of respondents indicated they plan to retire within the next 5 years while only 15% have any viable succession plan in place to combat this high management turnover. The full report and summary can be found at the link below:

Workforce Development and Succession Planning to Prepare the Rural Transit Industry for the Future

For more details contact Del Peterson at del.peterson@ndsu.edu.

SURTC at TRB

SURTC researchers will be participating in next week's Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. Ranjit Godavarthy will be giving a presentation titled "Developing a Method for Assessing National Demand-Response Transit Level of Service." His presentation is part of a session Monday morning, 8:00 am – 9:45 am, titled "Paratransit, Demand-Responsive, Dial-a-Ride: A New Future." Jeremy Mattson will be participating in a poster session Tuesday afternoon, 2:00 pm – 3:45 pm, titled "Public Transportation Policy: Governance, Priority-Setting, and Perspectives." The title of his poster is "Method for Estimating Statewide Transit Needs and Investment Priorities in Rural and Small Urban Areas."

These presentations are based on the following research published by SURTC in 2015.

Identifying and Satisfying the Mobility Needs of North Dakota's Transit System

Developing a Method for Assessing National Demand-Response Transit Level of Service

Research Report – Developing a Method for Assessing National Demand-Response Transit Level of Service

A new SURTC study has developed a method for assessing the level of demand-response transit being provided throughout a state or nationwide and prioritizing areas for needed service improvements.

Demand-response transit is a major source of mobility for older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income households in urban and rural areas, but the data needed to assess the level of service being provided across the country is lacking. Key variables for identifying the level of service include geographic coverage, days of service per week, hours of service per day, advance reservation requirements, and service eligibility. These data are largely missing from the National Transit Database or other sources.

Given that currently available data sources are inadequate, SURTC researchers developed and conducted online surveys of demand-response transit agencies in North Dakota and Florida to gather service details. The goal was to collect as much useful and detailed data as possible while minimizing the burden to transit agencies. Based on the results from these surveys, recommendations were made for deploying the survey nationwide. SURTC researchers also developed a method for combining the service data collected from the survey with population and demographic data to identify areas with greater needs for service improvements. The report shows how the data collected from this new survey tool can help state DOTs and transit planners evaluate current service levels and make investment decisions.

The full report and executive summary can be found at the link below:

Developing a Method for Assessing National Demand-Response Transit Level of Service

For more details, contact Ranjit Godavarthy at ranjitprasad.godavar@ndsu.edu or Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu.

Research Report – The Impact of North Dakota's Oil Boom on Transit Livability

SURTC has published a report highlighting the changes affecting public transportation in North Dakota's oil producing region. Population growth in western North Dakota from those seeking employment in the oil industry has led to substantial increases in personal income and transit ridership. Local survey findings noted that population growth has impacted the quality of life by increasing pressure on infrastructure and increasing feelings of insecurity that stem from demographic shifts and not knowing who is living in local communities. The housing market has also struggled to keep pace.

Transit livability index measures showed an increase in recent years. The combinations of increased ridership and household income have been the two main catalysts for this change. More workers utilizing transit has also led to fewer workers commuting alone to work. However, an increasing mobility needs index and a lack of transit vehicles to meet demand are becoming evident as many of the transit livability indexes are showing smaller increases during the past one to three years compared to earlier gains.

For more details contact del.peterson@ndsu.edu.

2015 Rural Transit Fact Book Published

SURTC has published its 2015 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 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.

The publication can be downloaded at the SURTC website. For more information, or if you're interested in receiving a hard copy, contact Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu.

Research Report – Identifying and Satisfying the Mobility Needs of North Dakota's Transit System

SURTC has published a new report that identifies the needs of transit agencies in North Dakota, gaps in transit service in the state, and additional services and funding needed to meet current demand as well as projected future demand. Surveys of transit agencies and human service agencies were conducted to gather information about existing transit services, how well those services are meeting the needs of the state’s residents, and the issues and challenges facing transit providers. Target levels of transit service and the funding needed to reach those targets were identified. Projections were also made based on expected population growth. Findings show a need for expansion of services across the state, especially in areas experiencing population growth, as well as needs for improvements in staffing and additional vehicles. The full report and an executive summary can be found at the link below:

Identifying and Satisfying the Mobility Needs of North Dakota's Transit System

For more details, contact Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu or Jill Hough at jill.hough@ndsu.edu.

SURTC at TRB

SURTC staff will be participating in next week's Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Below is a list of sessions and committee meetings in which SURTC staff will be participating.

 

SURTC Staff Session/Meeting Presentation Title Date
Jeremy Mattson (Presenting) ADA30 Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities Committee Mobility Management, Cost-Benefit Analyses, and Demand-Response Level of Service: Recent Research from SURTC Jan 12, 10:00 – 10:20 AM
Jill Hough (Presiding) Session 442 – Transportation Planning Applications: Tips and Tools Jan 12, 4:15 – 6:00 PM
Jill Hough and Del Peterson (Attending) AP055 Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee Meeting Jan 13, 10:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Jeremy Mattson (Poster) Session 638 – Inclusive Transportation: Infrastructure and Services Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination Jan 13, 2:00 – 3:45 PM
Del Peterson (Presenting) Session 699 – Special Topics in Rural and Small Urban Public Transportation Improving Veterans' Mobility in Small Urban and Rural Areas Jan 13, 3:45 – 5:30 PM
Ranjit Godavarthy (Presenting) Session 699 – Special Topics in Rural and Small Urban Public Transportation Cost-Benefit Analysis of U.S. Rural and Small Urban Transit Jan 13, 3:45 – 5:30 PM
Jill Hough (Presenting) Session 826 Gender Differences and the Built Environment Relative Desired Mobility of Elderly Women Living in Rural and Small Urban Locations in North Dakota Jan 14, 2:30 – 4:00 PM

SURTC is a part of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University