Webinar: Ethics in Transit Decision-Making

Jill Hough, SURTC director, will be conducting a webinar titled "Ethics in Transit Decision-Making" on March 18 at 2:00 p.m. central time. The webinar, which is being hosted by the National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP), will examine various decision-making tests for ethics, while exploring this hot topic in transit. Register for the webinar at the following link: 101 Webinar: Ethics in Transit Decision-Making.

Transit ITS Seminar

The National Transit Institute is hosting a Transit ITS Seminar on March 4-5 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This introductory-level seminar is geared for transit professionals, which include planners, engineers, operators, and individuals employed by MPOs, DOTs, and transportation agencies that will be involved in the planning, implementation, and ongoing management of transit data. The goal of the workshop is to discuss and discover best practices in data management for transit ridership and for open source data, for internal agency consumption and external partner usage. See the links below for more information.

UPDATE: The seminar in Salt Lake City has been cancelled due to not having enough participants. For those interested, there is a Transit ITS Seminar scheduled for April 14-15 in Pasadena, CA.


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

Research Report – Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination

A new report published by SURTC evaluates mobility management and human service transportation coordination efforts at different locations across the country and provides an evaluation model that can be used in individual communities. For this study, two surveys were developed and conducted at multiple sites across the country. An end-user survey was distributed to transit users, and a stakeholder survey was sent to transportation providers, human service agencies, and other organizations. The results can be used to assess the effectiveness of mobility management and coordination programs in meeting the needs of transportation-disadvantaged populations and achieving the goals of improved efficiency, ease of access, and quality of service. Results from the communities where surveys were conducted showed positive impacts from the perspectives of both transit users and stakeholders. The full report and executive summary can be found at the link below:

Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination

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

SURTC Participating at National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation

SURTC staff will be attending and participating in next week's National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation in Monterey, California. SURTC director Jill Hough, researchers Del Peterson, Jeremy Mattson, and Ranjit Godavarthy, and training coordinator Rob Lynch will each be giving presentations. Jill Hough and Del Peterson will also each be moderating a session, and Rob Lynch will be manning SURTC's booth at the vendor show. Del Peterson served on the conference's planning committee and will also be awarding the winners of the student paper competition. If you are attending the conference, be sure to stop by our booth and say hi or attend our sessions. Below is list of sessions in which SURTC staff are participating.

Speaker Presentation Title Date
Jill Hough Ethics in the Workplace Mon, Oct 27, 10:00-11:30 AM
Jeremy Mattson Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination Mon, Oct 27, 10:00-11:30 AM
Rob Lynch Emergency Management: An Opportunity for Collaborations and Partnerships for Rural Transit Mon, Oct 27, 2:00-3:30 PM
Del Peterson Improving Veteran Mobility in the Northern Plains: Connecting Veterans in Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota to VA Health Care Centers Tues, Oct 28, 10:00-11:30 AM
Ranjit Godavarthy Cost Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit Tues, Oct 28, 4:00-5:30 PM
Moderator Session Date
Del Peterson Communicating with Customers and Communities: Virtual BFFs Tues, Oct 28, 10:00-11:30 AM
Jill Hough Enhancing Livability in Rural America: What It Means In Your State, Region and Community Tues, Oct 28, 4:00-5:30 PM

2014 Rural Transit Fact Book Published

SURTC has published its 2014 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.

FTA 101 – Online Course

FTA 101 is a new online course designed to educate public transportation staff about federal programs, grant management, and the functions of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  SURTC developed the course for AASHTO's Multi-State Technical Assistance Program (MTAP). FTA 101 is free, and it provides an easy-to-follow curriculum that serves to inform or refresh new or seasoned staff on the role of the FTA in public transit. The course takes less than two hours to complete and can be paused between chapters.

Webinar Recordings Online: Veterans Transportation and Rural Transit Cost-Benefit Analysis

Recordings of recent webinars conducted by SURTC staff are available online. Del Peterson presented findings from his study on veterans transportation in a webinar on July 10. Earlier this year, Ranjit Godavarthy and Jeremy Mattson presented a webinar on their cost-benefit analysis research for small urban and rural transit. Both webinars were presented as part of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) webcast series. Recordings of the webinars can be found at the links below. Links to the full reports and executive summaries of the research are available in the Completed Reports section of the SURTC website.

Webinar recordings:

Research Report – Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit

SURTC has published a report analyzing the costs and benefits of providing transit services in rural and small urban areas. The full report and an executive summary can be found at the following link:

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit

This study focuses on the qualitative and quantitative benefits of small urban and rural public transit systems in the United States. First, a thorough review of previous literature is presented. Then, a framework is developed which focuses on three main areas of transit benefits most relevant to rural and small urban areas: transportation cost savings, low-cost mobility benefits, and economic development impacts. This study estimates the cost savings from using transit in place of alternative modes and the significant costs that would result from trips foregone in the absence of transit. Estimated benefits are compared to the costs of providing service to derive benefit-to-cost ratios. Results are presented nationally, regionally (FTA regions), and statewide. Sensitivity analysis is also conducted to illustrate how the benefits and benefit-cost ratios vary with changes in key variables. With estimated benefit-cost ratios greater than 1, the results show that the benefits provided by transit services in rural and small urban areas are greater than the costs of providing those services.

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

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