The Spring 2012 issue of the Transit Lane Brief has been published and is available online. This issue features articles on a U.S. DOT grant awarded to a consortium including SURTC; NDSU’s graduate-level public transportation class; tribal transit courses, a tribal transit webinar, and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) workshops conducted by SURTC; a recently completed study on alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles for small urban and rural transit agencies; and SURTC’s participation at TRB and TRF. The current and previous issues can be downloaded from the SURTC website.
Archive for April 2012
Report Published: Use of Alternative Fuels and Hybrid Vehicles by Small Urban and Rural Transit Systems
A new report published by SURTC studies the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles by transit systems in small urban and rural areas. Transit agencies of all sizes across the country have been or are considering using alternative fuels or hybrid-electric vehicles. Smaller agencies may face greater difficulties in transitioning to alternative fuels or hybrids due to infrastructure costs, reliability and maintenance issues, or other concerns.
To better understand the problems and benefits with using biodiesel, E85, propane, natural gas, and hybrid vehicles in smaller communities, a survey of 115 small urban and rural transit agencies was conducted. This study described the use of alternative fuels and hybrids by these transit providers; identified motivating factors and deterrents for adoption; described the experience of transit agencies that have adopted these alternatives, including costs, fuel economy, maintenance, reliability, and overall satisfaction; and examined differences between those agencies that use these alternatives and those that do not, as well as difference between rural and small urban areas.
Larger agencies and those operating in urban areas tend to be more likely to adopt alternatives than smaller, rural providers. Improving public perception, reducing emissions, and reducing operating costs tend to be the greatest motivating factors for adoption, while concerns about infrastructure and vehicle costs, maintenance, and fuel supply are the greatest deterrents. Those agencies that have adopted alternative fuels or hybrids have been mostly satisfied, but some problems were identified. Findings provide useful information to policy makers as well as transit operators considering adoption of alternative fuels and hybrids.
For more information, contact Jeremy Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The publication can be downloaded at the following link: Use of Alternative Fuels and Hybrid Vehicles by Small Urban and Rural Transit Systems
The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) has posted a recording online of a webinar conducted by SURTC researchers Del Peterson and Jeremy Mattson on using technologies, such as smartphones, webcasts, online surveys, and social media, for increasing public participation in transportation planning. The presentation was conducted as part of CUTR’s webcast series. The webinar can be viewed at the link below, using the required recording ID. Visit the CUTR Webcast page to view other recordings as well as upcoming webinars.
Recording ID: Transit-Tech
On March 28, 2012, SURTC partnered with CTAA and the Northern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance program to present a webinar on Tribal Transit & Prospects for Future Funding.
SURTC researcher Jon Mielke presented the findings of a recent study regarding the impacts of the 5311(c) tribal transit program that was created in 2005 by the SAFETEA-LU federal highway and transit funding bill. The study also identified future funding requirements based on varying levels of tribal participation and the availability of funding from other sources.
Jim Glaze, a tribal transit attorney and partner with the Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson, & Perry, LLP, law firm briefed participants on the status of various versions of pending federal reauthorization. The timing of Mr. Glaze’s presentation was especially timely given legislation that is currently pending before Congress.
Registration is open for the 2012 Public Transportation & Universities Conference. This conference, hosted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), is scheduled for June 16-19, 2012 (Saturday-Tuesday), at the Ramada Plaza & Suites in Fargo, ND. North Dakota State University and Metro Area Transit (MATBUS) are co-hosting the event. The early fee deadline for registration is May 11.
The preliminary program has been posted. Visit the conference website for more information. The biennial Public Transportation & Universities Conference focuses on the unique needs of university communities and the population they serve.