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National Center for Transit Research » Research

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit

(Center Identification Number: 79050-02-A) Problem Statement Transit systems in rural and small urban areas are often viewed as valuable community assets due to the increased mobility they provide to those without other means of travel. The true value of those services, however, has been largely unmeasured, and there are often impacts that go unidentified. As transit systems compete for local dollars, it is important to identify and quantify, where possible, the impacts that the service has on the community. The benefits to the transit user include lower cost trips, new trips that are made, and relocation avoidance. The alternative means of travel for transit users, which may involve purchasing an automobile or paying for a taxi ride, are often more expensive. As transit provides access to work, health care, education, shopping, etc., additional … Read entire article »

Filed under: Project Scopes, Research in Progress

Estimating Demand for Intercity Bus Services: A Network Approach

(Center Identification Number: 79050-02-A) Problem Statement A significant need exists for creating a model to estimate demand for intercity bus services, especially in rural areas. Many states and rural operators are unsure about the potential demand for rural intercity bus service, and many of the existing models are unreliable due to poor data (Fravel et al. 2011). To address this need, a TCRP project by Fravel et al. (2011) developed a sketch-planning guide that could be used by state transportation department program managers and both public and private rural intercity bus service providers to forecast demand for rural intercity bus services. The route-level modeling techniques used in this TCRP report provide a useful tool for estimating ridership on rural intercity routes, but it has some limitations. It does not account for through … Read entire article »

Filed under: Project Scopes, Research in Progress

Development of Public Transit II Course – Scope of Work

(Center Identification Number: 79060-02-A) A new course, Public Transit II, will be developed and offered spring 2015 as part of NDSU’s Transportation and Logistics program. This class will expand upon TL 786, the public transportation class currently offered at NDSU, by going more in-depth in some topics and covering more advanced areas including modeling, economics, and engineering. List of Tasks Task 1. Review public transportation courses currently or previously available at North Dakota State University and other universities. Among these courses are TL 786 at NDSU, Public Transportation Systems taught by Dr. Nigel Wilson at MIT, and others to be identified. Syllabuses and available course material will be reviewed to understand what is currently being taught at NDSU and what is also being taught elsewhere. The new course will build upon and address topics … Read entire article »

Filed under: Project Scopes, Research in Progress

Improving Veteran Mobility in Small Urban & Rural Areas

(Center Identification Number: 79050-02-A) Background The need for veteran transportation is growing rapidly. Currently, for every fatality in Iraq, there are 16 wounded or injured soldiers. This represents an injury rate five times greater than the Vietnam War (Walsh 2010). Forty percent of veterans live in rural areas that often present transportation challenges. Many rural area veterans must travel extremely long distances to receive medical care, and veterans living in rural areas are reported to be in poorer health than veterans living in urban areas (Westat and Rubino 2011). Also, many wounded veterans require assistance regarding mobility for life essential activities as well as employment. Research Objective The objective of this research is to identify veterans with mobility needs currently living in rural North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.  The cost of providing different … Read entire article »

Filed under: Project Scopes, Research in Progress

Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination

(Center Identification Number: 79050-02-A) Problem Statement The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has been engaged, as part of its livability goals, in helping persons with disabilities, older adults, low income persons, and other transportation disadvantaged populations be to active and engaged in their communities by having access to the mobility options that make it possible to connect to employment, community services, and activities.  The alternative is isolation or institutional care for these individuals, which drains governmental resources, thwarts individuals from contributing to their communities, and results in diminished health and unfulfilling lives for those who are not able or cannot afford to drive. To pursue this objective of community connectivity through mobility, the Secretary of Transportation chairs a Federal Interagency Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) that strives to coordinate federal programs funding transportation … Read entire article »

Filed under: Project Scopes, Research in Progress