MNTRC Newsletter Vol 20, Issue 2: Fall 2013

The Consortium hits its stride


Rod Diridon, Executive Director, MNTRC

Rod Diridon, Sr.

Rod Diridon

MNTRC is operating at full capacity, with 49 research projects in process, full and expanding academic programs, and 23 outreach activities conducted during the past year.

Multiple outreach events

While the research and education components are obvious and highly valued, the outreach may be even more important.  The old adage comes to mind: “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Indeed, the MNTRC research does “make a sound.” The energetic MNTRC outreach effort systematically brings the new research to the attention of the transportation community, inviting potential users to discover and, ideally, incorporate the latest research findings.

The outreach events of the past year have been highlighted in prior newsletters.  The following events are planned by the Mineta Transportation Institute, in some cases with participation from other MNTRC university members:

  • September 30-October 2, 2013, Chicago, APTA Annual Meeting – MTI will host a session on Tuesday, October 1, addressing “Transit Connectivity for High-Speed Rail.”
  • October 10-11, 2013, San Francisco, Shared-Use Mobility Summit - MTI is a co-sponsor of this event addressing the current state of shared-use vehicles, the industry opportunities, and the obstacles to market expansion.
  • October 22-24, 2013, Washington DC, Transit Communications - MTI is a sponsor and will present during an expert panel addressing “Using Digital Media to Increase Transit Ridership.”
  • October 24-25, 2013, Washington DC, Podcar City 7: Innovations in Public Transportation - MTI is a sponsor, and it will present a panel on funding and finance for new Automated Transit Network (ATN) systems. These are small cars on guideways that can help reduce traffic congestion and emissions.
  • March 13-15, 2014, San Jose CA, 55th Annual Transportation Research Forum - MTI is co-sponsoring this industry-wide conference, which will present more than 100 papers in 25 sessions.
  • March 28, 2014, San Jose CA, Annual Green Industry Hall of Fame - MTI is co-sponsoring this conference, which promotes green practices in transportation and lifestyles, and honors those who provide exemplary green leadership. The day-long session will be followed by an awards banquet.
  • Date TBA, Nationwide, Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition - MTI established this competition, now in its 14th year. Middle school students create a sustainable transportation project and compete by live videoconference to determine a winner.

More outreach activities will be planned as the year progresses and will be highlighted in the next newsletter. 

Congratulations to Leo Hanifin

Congratulations to MNTRC director Leo Hanifin, dean of the College of Engineering and Science at the University of Detroit Mercy, who has been appointed to the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).

The confirming letter noted, “It is with great enthusiasm about your skill set, as well as your commitment to improving public transportation in our region, that we write to invite you to serve a two year term on the CAC, starting immediately.”

As a member of the CAC, Dr. Hanifin will advise the RTA on transit issues, suggest transit service improvements, and advocate greater funding for public transportation.

MNTRC is proud to have him as its professional colleague. Please join MNTRC in applauding this accomplishment.