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Newsletter of the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium Winter 2014-2015: Vol. 21, Issue 3

MTI hosts Secretary of Transportation summit

by Karen E. Philbrick, PhD, Executive Director
MTI Executive Director Dr. Karen Philbrick, US Under Secretary for Policy Peter Rogoff, Secretary Foxx, and retired Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta

On February 2, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx presided over a roundtable policy discussion at MTI and introduced Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices, the US Department of Transportation’s newly released 30-year framework for the future.

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Freight railcar on bridge

Rail bridge research wins AASHTO award

Congratulations to Dr. Hani Nassif, whose research report, Elimination of Weight Restriction on Amtrak, NJ Transit, and Conrail Line, was chosen to receive AASHTO’s prestigious “Sweet Sixteen” award for research of particularly high value. The report evaluates the impact of recently increased weight limits for freight railcars on New Jersey rail bridges.

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Paratransit user in wheelchair

Two studies provide insight into paratransit use

Two recently published articles on ADA paratransit offer insight into paratransit users and the factors that cause trip delays. The authors say that accuracy in predicting future demand depends on understanding paratransit trip generators and current demand patterns. The studies analyzed data from roughly two million trips made over a 24-month period.

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Transit and urban policy research acclaimed

Research reportMatt Holian, PhD, is already making a name for himself at San Jose State University. He was selected for the University’s Early Career Investigator Award for the quality of his research. In particular, he has excelled with two reports he completed as a Research Associate for MTI. In The Impact of Center City Economic and Cultural Vibrancy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transportation notes that, while urban planners and scholars have given much attention to understanding the relationship between the built environment and transportation behavior, other aspects of the urban environment have received little attention.

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Transportation students predict 5 future trends

Sign: “Rideshare or bust”

Professor Peter Haas asked MTI MSTM students to post five predictions for the transportation topics they would be pondering in the next ten years. More than 25% of the class mentioned succession and knowledge retention planning for transit agencies, which will face large employee turnovers in the years to come.

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LV streetcar system designed by students gets media attention

Streetcar plan on computer screen A senior design team that includes several undergraduate engineering students from UNLV is on the way to help plan and design an electric streetcar system along Maryland Parkway connecting downtown Las Vegas to the city’s airport. The students designed this project in response to a need identified by the State of Nevada. The project was presented at a competition that drew 30 teams from the UNLV Department of Engineering. It attracted the attention of judges and local news media because it offered a practical way to transform the transportation system in Las Vegas, making it a global city.

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Dr. Harry Teng presents two papers at AREMA

Dr. Harry Teng, UNLVIn September, Hualiang “Harry” Teng, PhD, presented two papers at the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) annual conference in Chicago, one of which was funded by MNTRC: Developing Seamless Connections in the Urban Transit Network: A Look Toward High-Speed Rail Interconnectivity.

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