Newsletter of the Mineta National Transit Research ConsortiumFall 2012: Vol. 19, Issue 2

The impact of MAP-21 on the UTC Program
by Rod Diridon, Executive Director, MNTRC

Rod Diridon, Executive Director

Rod Diridon, Sr.
Executive Director, MNTRC

MAP-21 is the new 27-month surface transportation authorization bill enacted earlier in the summer. The program includes three categories of centers: five National Centers at $3 million per year with a 100% match; ten Regional Centers at $2.25 million each with a 100% match; and up to 20 Tier I Centers at $1.5 million each with a 50% match required. While consortia are encouraged for the National and Regional Centers, the Tier I Centers are not expected to be consortia. For comparison, the UTC competition winners announced at the beginning of this year included 22 consortia, two of which are designated for transit emphasis (MNTRC included), providing funding to consortium members at 121 universities. The consortium contracts currently end on December 31, 2013 with the ability to expend unused funds until the end of 2014. Read the rest of the story »

Board Member Profile

Grace Crunican, General Manager, Bay Area Rapid Transit

Grace Crunican, General Mgr., Bay Area Rapid Transit

Grace Crunican
General Manager,
Bay Area Rapid Transit

Running a transit service for a major metropolitan area is no walk in the park. But Grace Crunican, general manager of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service, has faced the challenges head-on. The rail transit system serves the greater San Francisco Bay area, which includes Oakland and the East Bay. BART includes operating and capital budgets totaling $1.4 billion, plus about 3,100 employees who serve about 350,000 riders each weekday with service at 44 stations in four counties. Currently, her team at BART is constructing a new station that will add service between Fremont and the Berryessa district of San Jose, a long-awaited 10-mile, $2.3-billion extension. One of her plans is to create a sense of the neighborhood at each BART stop, perhaps with color or other elements. Station maintenance and infrastructure will remain a priority, but she believes that BART can help provide a sense of community and identity.
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grand valley State University

How we can increase sustainable transit
by Charles Standridge, PhD, Assistant Dean, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing

Lindsay Corneal and Dr. Charles Standridge of GVSU work with lithium ion batteries.

Professor Lindsay Corneal of the GVSU School of Engineering and Dr. Charles Standridge work with lithium-ion battery packs.

Faculty, graduate students, and staff from Grand Valley State University’s School of Engineering and the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) have a valuable and challenging project. They are continuing their research on remanufacturing, repurposing, and recycling electric batteries from transit vehicles. The special focus is on lithium-ion batteries.Read the rest of the story »

Rutgers University

Taking a look at TOD in New Jersey rail towns
by Robert B. Noland, PhD, Professor and Director, Voorhees Transportation Center

Transit-oriented development project, Cranford, NJ.

Transit-oriented development (TOD) project in Cranford, NJ.

We are undertaking a new research project, examining the benefits derived from transit-oriented development (TOD) in New Jersey. A part of our analysis looks in depth at three municipalities that have used a transit-centered model as a redevelopment strategy. Cranford, Morristown, and Rahway are all New York City suburbs that have used TOD to address unique problems. Cranford is the quintessential railroad suburb with walkable streets and a Victorian-era clock that stands in the commercial downtown adjacent to the station. Composed largely of single family homes on small lots, Cranford turned to TOD to support its struggling downtown and to create an option for those priced out of housing – seniors who want to stay in the community and young adults who grew up there.Read the rest of the story »

San Jose State University

Bicycling research in high demand

by Karen Philbrick, PhD, Director, Research

BicyclistsPhoto by Ted Sweeney

Bicycling is a growing trend in many cities around the world.

The Mineta Transportation Institute’s research reports on bicycling have proven very popular. This year alone, they have logged more than 100,000 downloads from the MTI web site. Of particular interest are MTI’s reports on bikesharing and low-stress bicycle network connectivity. Over the past two months each has been downloaded nearly twice as many times as any other MTI report.Read the rest of the story »

MSTM alumni make waves

by Peter Haas, PhD, Director, MTI Education Program

Alumni from MTI’s Master of Science in Transportation Management have gone on to outstanding careers. Here in California, Kern County’s Council of Governments appointed alumnus Ahron R. Hakimi as the agency’s seventh executive director.
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Our dance card has been full

by Donna Maurillo, MSTM, Director, MTI Communications and ITT

The Mineta Transportation Institute has been running double-time this year, with a calendar brimming with presentations and special events.
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Garrett Morgan award winners with Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and MTI Board Chair Steve Heminger

Garrett Morgan award winners with Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and MTI Board Chair Steve Heminger

University of Detroit Mercy

What makes regional transit work?
by Leo Hanifin, PhD, Dean, College of Engineering and Science

Leo Hanifin and colleagues ride the bus.

Leo Hanifin (right) rides Detroit transit with his colleagues.

The University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) is studying the factors that enable and inhibit the development and operation of effective regional transportation systems in Southeast Michigan (Detroit metro area). The research team expects that the findings will apply broadly and have value to regions across the nation. They will explore ten specific areas, including governance structures; the relationship of transit to other key broader issues of urban health, including economic development, land use and sustainability; legal structures and issues; funding structures and competing priorities; public-private partnerships and roles; and other key areas.Read the rest of the story »

UNiversity of nevada, las vegas

UNLV hosts transportation summer camp
by Hualiang (Harry) Teng, PhD, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Students riding a bus with Dr. Zongzhong Tian from the University of Nevada, Reno.

High school students test the limits of public transit at UNLV transportation summer camp.

Dr. Zongzhong Tian from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) led a Transportation Summer Camp, which had activities in Reno and Las Vegas. Dr. Harry Teng assisted with activities in Las Vegas. The summer camp, designed for high school students, ran from July 9-19, 2012. A bus-riding competition was held in Reno. Each student received a bus map, schedule, and pass. Starting from the Main Street Station, a team of four students took and transferred buses until they returned to the starting point. Each student was given three hours to travel as far as possible in the Reno-Sparks region. Given this time constraint, the teams were to develop their own strategies. Read the rest of the story »

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