National Volunteer Transportation Center Accepting Applications for 2014 STAR Awards

The 2014 STAR Awards application is now open through April 11, 2014. STAR Awards ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 will be given to programs and services that involve volunteer drivers in providing transportation. These annual awards celebrate excellence, innovations, and promising practices in providing transportation services to senior passengers. The STAR Award program is sponsored by the National Volunteer Transportation Center of Washington, DC. 

Find more details and apply for the awards at the following link: 2014 STAR Award Application

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

Upcoming Webcast: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit

SURTC researchers Ranjit Godavarthy and Jeremy Mattson will be presenting results from their cost-benefit analysis research as part of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) webcast series. The webcast, titled "Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit," will be presented March 20 at 11:00 am central time.

This research estimates the benefits of public transit systems in small urban and rural areas in the United States. 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 benefits from transit operations. 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 both nationally and by state to demonstrate the impacts of investments in rural and small urban transit.

Information on how to view the webcast can be found at the CUTR website: View Connection Information

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.

Dr. Ranjit Godavarthy Wins CUTC Award

CUTC_1.11.13_108-2Dr. Ranjit Godavarthy, associate research fellow with SURTC, won the Wootan Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation in Policy and Planning from the Council for University Transportation Centers (CUTC). Dr. Godavarthy earned this award for his dissertation, titled “Network and Design Guidelines for Accommodating Large Trucks at Roundabouts," which he completed at Kansas State University. He was presented the award at the CUTC Annual Winter Meeting & Banquet, which took place in conjunction with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on January 11, 2014. Congratulations Ranjit for this prestigious award.

Rob Lynch Joins SURTC as Training Coordinator

Lynch_RobRob Lynch joined the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) in January, 2014, as its new training coordinator. Most recently, Rob held the position of transportation manager for North Dakota State University (NDSU), where he managed transit, parking, bicycle, and pedestrian functions for a growing campus community of over 16,000. Rob is a member of the Metro Area Transit Coordinating Board for Fargo, ND, and Moorhead, MN, and serves on many local transportation and corridor study groups. Prior to this, he managed two non-profit organizations and worked in the hospitality industry for over 25 years. During this period, he developed and conducted specialized management and team training for two national restaurant chains. Rob was elected to the Fargo City Commission in 2000 and served as chairman of the city’s Parking Commission, Transportation Technical Committee and the Fargo/Cass Board of Health. Rob is a graduate of NDSU earning a B.U.S. in emergency management and industrial engineering. He can be reached at rob.lynch@ndsu.edu.

SURTC Fall/Winter 2013 Newsletter

The Fall/Winter 2013 issue of the Transit Lane Brief has been published and is available online. This issue features articles on the new Small Urban and Rural Livability Center funded by a U.S. DOT grant, the FTA 101 web-based training module under development, a webinar on engaging people with disabilities and older adults in planning, new affiliated staff at SURTC,  a new graduate-level transit course under development, SURTC participation at conferences, and SURTC training activities. The current and previous issues can be downloaded from the SURTC website.

Webinar on Engaging People with Disabilities and Older Adults in Coordinated Planning

SURTC researcher Del Peterson will be participating in a webinar November 22 on engaging people with disabilities and older adults in coordinated planning. He will be presenting results from SURTC research regarding the use of technologies to improve public participation in transportation planning. The webinar is being hosted as part of a project sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Community Living. More information about the webinar is below:

What's Research Got to do with It? Applying Evidence-based Practices to Improve the Participation of People with Disabilities and Older Adults in Coordinated Planning

Learn how evidence-based practices can be incorporated into strategies to engage people with disabilities and older adults in coordinated transportation planning; hear stories from SURTC researchers and ACL catalysts about how evidence-based practices are used in their work; obtain resources to identify evidence-based practices; and learn how to tap into the UTC program and other federal and non-federal resources related to research.

Speakers

  • Del Peterson, associate research fellow with the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center (SURTC) located at North Dakota State University (NDSU)
  • Crystal Lyons, president of Crystal Fortune Lyons, LLC, and a professional consulting company specializing in disability policy development and DOJ and DOT ADA Title II compliance.
  • Jed Johnson, MSW, MBA, Director, National Veteran Caregiver Training Program, Easter Seals headquarters
  • Full speaker biographies (PDF)(133 KB)

Webinar Information

  • Nov. 22, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Click here to participate in the webinar.

To learn more about the Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Project, visit TransitPlanning4All.

Participation at Louisiana Public Transit Conference

Keven Anderson, coordinator of training and outreach, and researcher Jeremy Mattson are participating in the 2013 Louisiana Public Transit Conference in New Orleans, LA, Nov. 20-22.

Anderson is conducting a session on succession planning and mentoring. Many of the transit managers currently in the industry are at or near retirement age, and most systems have no plans for future managers. In his presentation, Anderson will discuss how to run your transit system as a business and how to grow your current employees through mentor programs to take on more responsibility and continue to grow.

Mattson is giving a presentation on the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles by small urban and rural transit systems. His presentation will be based on a previous study he conducted which involved a survey of small urban and rural transit operators. This research examined the use of alternative fuels and hybrids by these agencies, satisfaction with these alternatives, problems encountered, reasons for adoption, and deterrents, both perceived and real. Click here to access the report.

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