Altamont Pass Commuter Study: A Longitudinal Analysis of Perceptions and Behavior Change

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Altamont Pass Commuter Study: A Longitudinal Analysis of Perceptions and Behavior Change


The Altamont Pass commuter survey study examines commuters’ perceptions and behaviors towards public transportation during 2019-2020. Results are compared with surveys conducted in 2000 and 2006 to investigate whether there have been any longitudinal changes in the perceptions and behaviors of Altamont Pass commuters over the twenty-year interval. As the previous surveys do, this study focuses on the same three counties, namely, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced that comprise the Northern San Joaquin Valley (NSJV). When compared with the previous surveys, these findings reveal some significant differences of responses to most questions, and minor differences of responses to other questions, prompting several important conclusions.

Based on the survey responses received, the authors categorize several immediate, short-run, and long-run improvements that can be made in the existing transportation network to alleviate congestion and smooth flow of traffic through the freeways and local public transportation network.


Gökçe Soydemir
Gökçe Soydemir (PhD, MPhil) is the principle Investigator in this project. Dr. Gökçe Soydemir currently works as the Foster Farms Endowed Chair of Business Economics and Professor of Finance and Economics at California State University, Stanislaus. He has over forty publications in quality peer reviewed journals. Dr. Soydemir supervises a university-wide forecasting team to publish the San Joaquin Valley Business Forecast Report, a bi-annual publication of California State University, Stanislaus. The report has appeared more than hundred times in popular media and personal blogs and has been inquired about by Congressional Quarterly from Washington D.C. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in finance and economics. His research interests include applied econometrics, regional economics, business, economic forecasting, and international finance. Dr. Soydemir has previously obtained grants from institutions such as San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, The Communications Institute in Los Angeles, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Chicago Board of Exchange.

Orestis Panos Panagopoulos
Orestis Panos Panagopoulos (PhD) is the co-investigator in this project. Dr. Orestis Panos Panagopoulos earned his Diploma in Production Engineering and Management from the Technical University of Crete. He received his M.Sc. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida. He earned his PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from the University of Central Florida. His focus is on big data analytics, data mining, and machine learning. He specializes in massive datasets, feature selection and dimensionality reduction techniques, and robust data mining. Panagopoulos’ research has been funded through grants received from public organizations and the private sector. His work has been published in journals such as Omega, Expert Systems with Applications, and others.

Xun Xu
Xun Xu (PhD) is the co-investigator in this project. Xun Xu holds a PhD in Operations Management from the Washington State University. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Operations, and Marketing in College of Business Administration at the California State University, Stanislaus, in the United States. He teaches operations management and management science-related courses. His research interests include service operations management, supply chain management and coordination, sustainability, e-commerce, data and text mining, and hospitality and tourism management. He has published over 30 papers on such journals as Annals of Tourism Research, Computers and Industrial Engineering, Decision Support Systems, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Business Research, Journal of the Operational Research Society, Journal of Travel Research, International Journal of Hospitality Management, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, International Journal of Information Management, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research, along with others.

September 2020
Northern San Joaquin Valley
Altamont Pass



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