MNTRC Newsletter Vol 19, Issue 1: Summer 2012

Transit camp is ready to go

Leo Hanifin, PhD, Dean, College of Engineering and Science

Summer camps at UDM are popular with high school students.

Summer camps at UDM are popular with high school students.

University of Detroit Mercy News – Each year, UDM offers TRANSIT , a one-week summer commuter camp for nearly 75 high school students who want to learn about transit. We have completed plans for this year’s camp, and we’ve identified the camp instructors, staff, and external presenters. One of five camps offered by UDM Engineering and Science, the program includes labs and discussions led by transportation experts from the public and private sectors. Students learn about the issues facing transportation engineers as they create safe, secure, and efficient transportation systems. Hands-on projects, guest speakers from industry, field trips, and input from university experts expose students to professions they may never have considered. The need for transportation professionals will become more critical as Baby Boomers begin to retire in the next several years. This summer camp helps us reach young people at the point when they may be making decisions for education and careers.

Regional transit study in the works

Although we are awaiting our matching contract from the Michigan Department of Transportation, we are already planning a regional transit study. A number of key planning activities have taken place while we await the completion of the contract.

The six co-investigators have had several pre-project planning meetings, so they will be ready to work immediately. We also have announced the graduate assistantship and reviewed the applicant qualifications.

A strong advisory group is necessary, and we have received commitments from an excellent group. Members include the highest-level illustrator of transit systems from Michigan Department of Transportation, Detroit Department of Transportation, Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments, M1 Rail, Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART), and Transportation Riders United.

This will be a valuable research project that we expect to help improve transit for many current and future riders.