Posts categorized under "Education"

SURTC Offering Advanced Transit Professional Certificate

SURTC and the NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning have partnered to provide persons who have successfully completed TRANSIT I – The Foundations (formerly titled Principles of Transit Management) and TRANSIT II – The Pillars (formerly titled Advanced Transit Management) the designation of "Advanced Transit Professional." The Advanced Transit Professional certificate is a great way of showcasing your accomplishments as a transportation professional. Certificate recipient information will be maintained at the NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning, allowing individuals to enjoy the prestige of a university-sponsored achievement through this non-academic-track program. For more information, or to confirm your eligibility, and order your Advanced Transit Professional certificate, please contact SURTC at training@surtc.org or call (701)231-1064 (additional fees apply).

Visit the SURTC website for more information about the Transit Management Courses.

March 19 Webinar: Developing Mentorship Programs

Dr. Jill Hough, SURTC director, will be participating in a March 19 webinar hosted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) on Developing Mentorship Programs: Successful Models and Pilots. See the details below.

Webinar Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Broadcast Time: 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern; 1-2:30 p.m. Central; noon-1:30 p.m. Mountain; 11-12:30 pm. Pacific

Webinar Summary: This webinar features success stories about mentorship programs conducted by the academic community in partnership with the public and private sector and an internal mentor program developed by a public transit agency. Dr. Jill Hough provides insights and lessons learned as North Dakota State University students were mentored by nationally recognized industry leaders. Mr. Patrick “Paddy” Gough, Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA), discusses the successes and lessons learned from OCTA’s internal mentor/mentee program developed and rolled out for their staff. This webinar examines how to organize a working program as well as some best practices with testimonials from experienced industry professionals. We welcome Mr. Robert Prince, AECOM, and Ms. Linda Bohlinger, Parsons Brinckerhoff, who will be featured in this webinar.

Registration: Click here to register

Deadline for Student Paper Competition Extended

The deadline for the student paper competition at the National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation has been extended to March 28. View the recent post on the SURTC blog or the conference website for more information.

Student Paper Competition at National Conference on Rural Public & Intercity Bus Transportation

ribtc2014

 Competition for Best Graduate Research Paper

and

Best Undergraduate Essay

 Deadline for Submission

March 7, 2014

The Transportation Research Board Committee on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation hosts a biennial conference in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration, Transportation Research Board, National Rural Transit Assistance Program, American Public Transportation Association, and others.  The 2014 Conference will be held in Monterey, California on October 26-29, 2014.

Part of that conference is a student competition that encourages students in transportation and related fields to submit papers that focus on the 2014 theme of “Setting Our Course for the Future.”  There are two competitions: the graduate student competition, which requires submission of a research paper, and the undergraduate student competition, which requires an essay addressing a specific challenge statement related to our theme.

Two winning student papers in each category (graduate and undergraduate) will receive awards, a cash prize and travel expenses to the 2014 conference in Monterey, California.

If you are an advisor or administrator of a program in engineering, economics, business, literature, sociology, medicine, social work, science, or any other discipline in which students are interested in addressing the issues of rural mobility, we ask that you distribute the attached flyers (graduate and/or undergraduate) and encourage them to submit an entry by the March 7, 2014 deadline.

Flyers with more information are below:

For more information, contact Del Peterson, North Dakota State University (del.peterson@ndsu.edu) or Pat Weaver, University of Kansas (weaver@ku.edu).  Additional details about the conference are available at the conference website.  Click the “Student Competition” tab from the menu.

SURTC is part of New Rural and Small Urban Livability Center

The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) will be a partner in a new Small Urban and Rural Livability Center being established with a two-year $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The grant was awarded as part of the University Transportation Centers (UTC) program.

The Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University will lead the effort to conduct research, education, and outreach activities on issues such as expanding public transportation options; creating safe routes for bicyclists and pedestrians; improving access to key regional transportation hubs and destinations; and integrating all available modes of transportation. SURTC brings to the effort expertise in transit, mobility’s impact on access to vital services in rural communities and other rural livability factors. The center will receive $1.1 million over two years for its involvement in the project.

SURTC was created in 2001 to assist small urban and rural transit systems and other transit entities by conducting research and offering outreach and training. In recognition of the role that mobility plays in the livability of rural communities, the center has increased its emphasis on this area of research.

“When people think about livable communities, one of their top priorities is being able to get where they need to go without always having to use their car,” said Steve Albert, director of the Western Transportation Institute. “Most of the livability initiatives up to now have focused on urban areas, so we are very excited and honored to take the lead on these issues for millions of Americans who live in small cities and rural areas.”

The U.S. DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration received more than 140 applications for UTC awards from universities and research consortiums across the country, and selected only 35 centers.   “Only two Centers were chosen to focus on livability issues, so we are very proud to represent interests and needs of rural residents,” said Western Transportation Institute program manager David Kack, who will serve as the center’s director.

“We look forward to our partnership with the Western Transportation Institute and continuing our work in regards to livability in rural and small urban areas,” said Jill Hough, SURTC director.  Hough will serve as the deputy director of the new center.

“Many rural areas are seeing a dramatic increase in the elderly population. Our research shows that elderly individuals prefer to stay in their homes for as long as possible, and it’s cost effective for them to do so,” Hough notes. “At the same time, some rural communities are seeing rapid population growth and economic development.  Mobility plays a critical role in maintaining and enhancing the livability of communities in both cases,” she said.

“The grant funding and our collaboration with the Western Transportation Institute will help us address key issues related to livability in rural areas,” Hough said. “It’s likely our work will be useful in addressing those issues in urban and suburban areas as well.”

Transit Curriculum Efforts Highlighted

SURTC director Jill Hough was recently featured in Progressive Railroading. She discussed her work as chair of the National Transit Curriculum Advisory Committee, a group that has been developing a standard curriculum for a semester-long college course on public transportation that could be offered by universities nationwide. Read the article here: Curriculum aims to get college students thinking about careers in public transportation

Working Document – Higher Education Mentorship Program for Public Transportation

SURTC has developed a mentorship program to introduce students to industry experts. This program provides a structure for students to engage with industry experts, allowing students to better understand the field of public transportation. The program has been piloted in 2011 and 2012 and is currently being piloted again in 2013.

Dr. Jill Hough, SURTC director and instructor for NDSU's graduate-level public transportation course, wrote a working document highlighting the value of a mentorship program for attracting students to transportation careers, addressing reasons to develop a mentorship program, and detailing the process, assignments, and evaluations of the pilot program at NDSU.

This document is available in the Education section of SURTC's website and can be downloaded directly at the following link:

If you have questions about the mentorship program, please contact Jill Hough at jill.hough@ndsu.edu

NDSU is partner in U.S. Department of Transportation grant to study transit

North Dakota State University is one of four universities that will cooperatively conduct research and provide training and outreach related to public transit under a $3.5 million grant awarded this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

NDSU is a partner with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Florida International University in Miami.  The University of South Florida in Tampa will lead the effort.  The Small Urban & Rural Transit Center, a part of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Research Institute at NDSU, will provide expertise in rural and small urban transportation.  NDSU will receive about $500,000 from the grant.

The grant was one of 22 awarded in the University Transportation Centers Program administered by the DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration and was one of two grants specifically targeted to consortiums that will study public transportation.

“NDSU has developed expertise in transit management and coordination, among other areas specifically related to transit providers in rural and small urban areas,” notes Jill Hough, director of the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center. “Our participation in this effort brings added knowledge and awareness to assure that the issues faced by rural and small urban transit providers are addressed.”

Overall, the partnership will focus on the following topic areas:

  • Enhancing transit safety
  • Developing procedures and approaches to help agencies better care for their fleets and facilities
  • Exploring how transit can enhance economic competitiveness of business, regions or communities
  • Enhancing the livability of regions or communities through transit
  • Improving environmental sustainability of transportation systems and transit operations.

“In each of these areas we will bring a rural or small community focus,” Hough noted.  “We will also gain ideas from our partners that may be transferable to the smaller transit providers that we serve. Each of the four partner universities brings unique strengths and accomplishments to this consortium, but by working together we will enhance our overall collective contribution to the transit industry.” Hough said.

Student Paper Competition Announced

Graduate and undergraduate students have the opportunity to enter a paper competition for an upcoming conference. The 20th National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation is scheduled to take place in October 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. To encourage student participation in the conference, undergraduate students are offered the opportunity to participate in an essay competition and graduate students have the opportunity to take part in a research paper competition.

Two essay winners will receive cash prizes as well as travel funds to attend the conference.

Essay Winners: 1st place $500 and 2nd place is $250

Two winning student research papers will be awarded and the authors will receive cash prizes and travel funds to attend the conference.

Research Paper Winners: 1st place $1,000 and 2nd place is $500

More details are available on the conference website.

Upcoming Seminar – Minnesota Public Transit 101

UGPTI's Transportation Seminar Series is back and we're kicking everything off with Keven Anderson from the State of Minnesota Office of Transit. His presentation, titled Minnesota Public Transit 101, will address the basic structure and organization of public transit in greater Minnesota. It will cover fleet structure, employees, types of rides provided, state oversight, funding, and interaction with local entities and federal agencies. The seminar will be held Aug. 30, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 422 of the IACC building on the campus of North Dakota State University.

Seminars are scheduled for Tuesdays from 2:00 to 2:50 p.m. throughout the fall semester. For those unable to attend, these seminars are being recorded. Links to the presentations and recordings will be posted online shortly after the conclusion of each seminar.

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