Closing out the second calendar year, the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC) forges ahead at full capacity, serving the the needs of the public transportation community. The past two years have seen a phenomenal number of transit-related studies in progress or production. Credit goes to a fast start by a high-caliber team working on research, education, and outreach. Ret. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and California High-Speed Rail Authority's Jeff Morales with MSTM graduate Martin Barna (center).
Education programs thrive in each of the nine universities. San Jose State is one good example, with 87 students participating in an accelerated statewide program for a Master of Science in Transportation Management (MSTM). The June graduating class is nearing 20, which would set a new record. Research programs are also thriving, with 59 projects in progress. Many of those are reaching conclusion and entering the publication phase. Each study reveals important new research data providing valuable insights to the national transportation community.
Projects range from from repurposing high-capacity batteries to the reorganization of regional government and transportation programs, all-hazards security and recovery, and high-speed rail connectivity. Each was identified in response to the needs projected by MNTRC clients: the US Department of Transportation, especially the Federal Transit Administration, state departments of transportation, and in many cases, private industry.
In January 2013, MNTRC organized a high-speed rail summit in Washington DC attended by international transportation leaders.
The proof of the national transportation community’s use of MNTRC research output is that MNTRC’s technology transfer function has organized or co-sponsored 21 summits, forums, and other outreach events this year. This builds upon the 19 professional summits MNTRC organized in 2012. Web site visits totaled 4.5 million this past year, while 2.9 million documents were downloaded from the site. MNTRC researchers have had 15 articles published in professional journals this past year and will present 13 projects at the coming Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference in Washington DC. Indeed, MNTRC is making a difference in improving our national transportation system's development, and operations. And it will continue to do so. Compliments are due to the MNTRC member universities.