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Impacts of Aging Travelers on Airports

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Impacts of Aging Travelers on Airports
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 51: Impacts of Aging Travelers on Airports describes the challenges of wayfinding, fatigue, technology and equipment, and needed amenities, as well as the practices that airports are enacting to accommodate and improve the airport experience of aging travelers. The report is designed to help users better understand the aging demographic, and define issues and implement effective practices to accommodate aging travelers at airports.

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Community Tools to Improve Transportation Options for Veterans, Military Service Members, and Their Families

April 13, 2014 Comments off

Community Tools to Improve Transportation Options for Veterans, Military Service Members, and Their Families
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 164: Community Tools to Improve Transportation Options for Veterans, Military Service Members, and Their Families explores ways to enhance transportation options for veterans, military service members, and their families by building on the concepts of transportation coordination and mobility management.

The report provides guidance and tools to assess transportation needs of veterans, service members, and their families and ways to potentially improve public transit, specialized transportation, volunteer services, and other local transportation options needed to meet those needs.

The report includes foundational information on community transportation services and initiatives currently available for veterans, service members, and their families. The report is designed to guide users through an organized process to help improve transportation options, building on the framework of coordination.

Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Monitoring Bicyclist and Pedestrian Travel and Behavior
Source: Transportation Research Board

The circular identifies a selection of recent advancements in bicycle and pedestrian data monitoring pertaining to both traffic volumes and behavioral data. The circular also introduces a selection of ongoing projects expected to contribute to the field of bicycle and pedestrian data.

Sustainable Energy and Transportation Strategies, Research, and Data

March 8, 2014 Comments off

Sustainable Energy and Transportation Strategies, Research, and Data
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Conference Proceedings on the Web 14: Sustainable Energy and Transportation Strategies, Research, and Data includes summaries of plenary session presentations that were made during a November 2012 conference in Washington, D.C. The conference explored potential research needed to further advance the development of alternatives to petroleum-based transportation and to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Framing Surface Transportation Research for the Nation’s Future

March 7, 2014 Comments off

Framing Surface Transportation Research for the Nation’s Future
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB has released the final version of Special Report 313: Framing Surface Transportation Research for the Nation’s Future explores opportunities for improving the productivity of U.S. expenditures on surface transportation research by building on lessons learned from the strategic approach to developing priorities and investing in transportation research in other countries and nontransportation sectors in the United States.

Despite major progress in U.S. transportation systems and services, particularly since the 1950s and 1960s, further improvements are needed if the nation is to continue competing effectively in the global marketplace and enhancing its inhabitants’ quality of life. Research is expected to play a major role in addressing the challenges facing U.S. surface transportation.

According to the committee that produced the report, the timely development of a new national research framework that engages the public, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors and draws on the nation’s research capacity in academia, industry, and elsewhere is needed.

Who Rides and Who Pays: Comprehensive Assessment of Motorcycling Costs and Benefits in the United States

March 6, 2014 Comments off

Who Rides and Who Pays: Comprehensive Assessment of Motorcycling Costs and Benefits in the United States
Source: Transportation Research Board

This paper offers a comprehensive assessment of the benefits and costs of motorcycle use while exploring the characteristics, behaviors and attitudes of motorcycle riders. U.S. motorcyclists are at relatively high risk of crashing, per mile travelled, with rates 24 times higher than those of passenger car and light-duty truck drivers. However, motorcycles require just one quarter the parking space of a car, and can double network capacities (in terms of vehicles per hour), thereby reducing congestion.

While most motorcycles enjoy high fuel economy, their low seating capacities render them little or no better than most cars and some light-duty trucks (assuming average vehicle occupancies). They emit relatively fewer grams of CO2, NOx, SO2 and PM10 per person-mile traveled than most cars, but more VOC and CO, if a catalytic converter is not installed. Noise impacts are also a serious issue for many motorcycles, with an inconsistent patchwork of regulations applied across states and localities.

Results of a survey of current and former U.S. motorcyclists indicates almost use their motorcycles for recreational purposes and ride in groups, though about half also ride for more mandatory/less discretionary purposes and about 40% also ride solo. Less than a third has had formal motorcycle training, and helmet use appears lower among current riders who do not own a motorcycle. Engine size appears to be rising, and respondents showed strong support for policies that combat operating a vehicle under the influence (such as ignition interlock devices for offenders). Regression models illuminate key factors and marginal effects on motorcycle riding and ownership rates.

See also: Lessons Learned from Motorcyclist Surveys: Rider’s Attitudes and Behaviors in Florida (PDF)

State Department of Transportation Fleet Replacement Management Practices

March 4, 2014 Comments off

State Department of Transportation Fleet Replacement Management Practices
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 452: State Department of Transportation Fleet Replacement Management Practices explores the current state of the practice regarding fleet replacement management and financing methods by state departments of transportation. The report also includes a discussion of the perceived strengths and weaknesses of different management and financing methods.

Transportation Research Board 2013 Annual Report

February 12, 2014 Comments off

Transportation Research Board 2013 Annual Report
Source: Transportation Research Board

The 2013 Annual Report provides a summary of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) programs and activities over the last year and an overview of the individual divisions within TRB. The mission of TRB is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal.

Motor Vehicle Crashes and Injuries Involving Teenage Drivers: Future Directions for Research

February 3, 2014 Comments off

Motor Vehicle Crashes and Injuries Involving Teenage Drivers: Future Directions for Research
Source: Transportation Research Board

This circular includes a summary of the discussions by experts on teenage driving that took place at a 2008 meeting and workshop organized by the TRB Subcommittee on Young Drivers. The meeting and workshop were convened to identify research that is needed to answer the most critical and timely scientific questions about teenage drivers. During the meeting, full-group discussions were intermixed with smaller subgroup deliberations. Each of these sessions involved a particular goal for the participating groups. The intent of this structure was to elicit and discuss as many research-specific issues as the participants considered important for identifying needed research in the young driver field. Participants reviewed ways in which the teenage driver problem has been addressed, how approaches have developed and changed over time, and commented on the past and present status of research in this area. The context and state of existing knowledge led to the identification of the following areas of research as most critical: 1) advancing the science of teenage driving; 2) learning to drive safely: how competence develops; 3) teenage driving exposure issues; 4) parenting issues: how parents influence teenage driving; and 5) passenger issues: how passengers influence teenage driving and crash risk. Following the meeting, members of the planning committee developed potential research topics and specific items for suggested research in the five priority areas. The document is intended to provide both new and veteran researchers with a guide to research questions whose answers are of particular importance for efforts to reduce motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths involving teenage drivers.

Transportation Investments in Response to Economic Downturns

January 23, 2014 Comments off

Transportation Investments in Response to Economic Downturns
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB Special Report 312: Transportation Investments in Response to Economic Downturns provides guidance for federal and state officials on the best ways to use stimulus funds for transportation in the future and methods for evaluating such investments. The report examines lessons learned and impacts from the states’ management of the transportation component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provided $48.1 billion for U.S. Department of Transportation programs.

Recycling Best Practices—A Guidebook for Advancing Recycling from Aircraft Cabins

January 15, 2014 Comments off

Recycling Best Practices—A Guidebook for Advancing Recycling from Aircraft Cabins
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 100: Recycling Best Practices—A Guidebook for Advancing Recycling from Aircraft Cabins describes procedures for recycling airport, airline, and flight kitchen waste and includes action plans designed to improve recycling and reduce waste disposal costs for airports of varying sizes and characteristics.

The Legal Definitions of “First Responder”

January 6, 2014 Comments off

The Legal Definitions of “First Responder”
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Results Digest 385: The Legal Definitions of “First Responder” explores the definition of “first responders,” The report also contains an analysis of grants available from the federal government to aid state and local governmental entities in preparing for and responding to natural or man-made disasters and emergencies

Sustaining the Metropolis: Light Rail Transit and Streetcars for Super Cities

December 11, 2013 Comments off

Sustaining the Metropolis: Light Rail Transit and Streetcars for Super Cities
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Transportation Research Circular E-C177: Sustaining the Metropolis: Light Rail Transit and Streetcars for Super Cities summarizes the presentations made at a November 2012 conference that focused on introducing the concept of light rail transit (LRT) in North America.

Critical Issues in Transportation: 2013

December 5, 2013 Comments off

Critical Issues in Transportation: 2013
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Executive Committee periodically identifies a set of critical issues in transportation to focus attention on their likely impact on the nation’s economy and quality of life. The discussion of the critical issues identified in this document is intended to facilitate debate and to encourage research leading to their resolution.

Previous editions of Critical Issues in Transportation have highlighted many of the issues that threaten the performance of the nation’s transportation system. In recent years, the Executive Committee has added the need to respond to natural disasters; highlighted how transportation has become ever more linked to broader issues in society and in the economy; and drawn attention to the role transportation plays in energy and environmental issues.

Critical Issues in Transportation: 2013 is designed to stimulate awareness and debate and to focus research on (a) improving transportation system performance and resiliency, (b) reducing transportation injuries and fatalities, and (c) mitigating unsustainable environmental impacts.

The urgency of addressing the critical issues has never been greater. The Executive Committee hopes that readers will become aware of and concerned about these issues, and will join in addressing the problems in transportation so that society and the economy can reap the many benefits it offers.

Highway Safety Research Agenda: Infrastructure and Operations

October 25, 2013 Comments off

Highway Safety Research Agenda: Infrastructure and Operations
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) 756: Highway Safety Research Agenda: Infrastructure and Operations develops a proposed agenda of prioritized safety research needs in the area of highway infrastructure and operations.

The report provides options to the U.S. transportation community on how to direct research to the areas where it can provide the most benefit. The agenda is based on a prioritization methodology developed by the research team which can be applied on a recurring basis to update the agenda over time. Both the agenda and the methodology documented in this report will assist government officials, private sector employees, and academics with managing highway safety research.

In addition to the report, 16 unpublished appendices (Appendices A-O and R) have been made available electronically.

Millennials and Mobility: Understanding the Millennial Mindset and New Opportunities for Transit Providers

October 24, 2013 Comments off

Millennials and Mobility: Understanding the Millennial Mindset and New Opportunities for Transit Providers
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Web-Only Document 61: Millennials and Mobility: Understanding the Millennial Mindset and New Opportunities for Transit Providers is designed to help public transit providers increase ridership by better understanding Millennials lifestyle and mobility decision-making processes.

A quantitative survey was used in the development of TCRP Web-Only Document 61. The survey focused on quantifying Millennials’ mobility motivations and behaviors. The final survey instrument and the survey data are available by clicking on the links below.

Millennials Mobility–Phase 2 Survey Instrument (.pdf)
Quant Data by Living Situation–Parental Status (.xlsx)
Quant Data by Market–Age Groups (.xlsx)
Quant Data by Millennial Hot Spot vs. Non (.xlsx)
Quant Open-Ended Responses (.xlsx)
Final Quant Dataset (.sav) (SPSS statistical analysis software is necessary to open)

Performance Indicators, Sustainability, and Socioeconomic Factors 2013

October 21, 2013 Comments off

Performance Indicators, Sustainability, and Socioeconomic Factors 2013
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2357 consists of 15 papers that explore performance indicators to assess urban transportation systems; performance-based accountability; the greenroads rating system; sustainability and strategic planning performance measures; a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats framework; environmental justice for minority and low-income populations; urban core transit access to low-income jobs; and accessibility and housing price resilience.

This issue of the TRR also examines linking transit-oriented development, households with children, and schools; transit-oriented development and household transportation costs; use of the real estate market to establish light rail station catchment areas; travel time and subjective well-being; transportation in an aging society; modeling out-of-home participation in physical activity by school-age children; and germane time use.

Transit Bus Operator Distraction Policies

October 15, 2013 Comments off

Transit Bus Operator Distraction Policies (PDF)
Source: Transportation Research Board

The objective of this synthesis is to provide transit agencies with information about transit bus operator distraction policies and outcomes to aid them in developing their own policies and programs to address and prevent distracted driving incidents.

Transit bus oper ations continue to be an increasingly “distracted” occupation, based on a variety of condi tions, and further study is suggested to help address and mitigate conditions. A review of the relevant literature of a variety of state and federal government, academic, and professional publications was conducted for this effort. Thirty five of 39 transit agen cies surveyed responded, a 92% response rate. Case examples further document the efforts of three transit agencies (New York City Transit/NYMTA; Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta; and Metro Transit, Minneapolis) to identify and catalog their processes and results. These examples highlight more in depth and additional details on successful practices, challenges, and lessons learned.

Christopher A. Kozub, Kozub Transportation Consulting, LLC, Woodbridge, New Jersey, collected and synthesized the information and wrote the report, under the guidance of a panel of experts in the subject area. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.

Building a Sustainable Workforce in the Public Transportation Industry—A Systems Approach

October 10, 2013 Comments off

Building a Sustainable Workforce in the Public Transportation Industry—A Systems Approach
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 162: Building a Sustainable Workforce in the Public Transportation Industry—A Systems Approach provides a guidebook that addresses contemporary issues in workforce development, retention, and attraction, and public transportation image management.

The guidebook provides practical tools to transit agencies on a variety of workforce issues including workforce strategies that enhance organizational processes, performance metrics to evaluate the impact of workforce strategies, image management techniques that improve perceptions of the public transportation industry, and benchmarking processes that allow for continuous organizational improvement.

The guidebook is separated into modules that may be used independently or together in the form of the fully integrated guidebook.

Forecasting Highway Construction Staffing Requirements

September 24, 2013 Comments off

Forecasting Highway Construction Staffing Requirements (PDF)
Source: Transportation Research Board

State transportation agencies (STAs) across the country continue to face many challenges to repair and enhance roadway infrastructure. One of these challenges is the selection of agency staff. Data collected in the current work shows that between 2000 and 2010 the total lane-miles in the systems managed by these agencies increased by an average of 4.1%, whereas the in-house STA personnel available to manage these systems decreased by an average of 9.78% over the same time period. By any measure STAs are doing more work with fewer agency employees than they were 10 years ago. Some of these agency employees have been replaced with consultant personnel; however, 86.1% of the respondents to this synthesis survey indicated that they were “doing more with fewer people than [they] were 10 years ago.” Additional information on staffing levels and demographics from the responding states are described in chapter two. These statistics indicate that the allocation of human resources is critical in maintaining and improving the nation’s roadway infrastructure system. This is especially true for agency employees in the area of construction, because construction projects represent a significant portion of a transportation agencies’ total budget

Adequate construction staffing is critical to the cost, schedule, quality, and safety performance of highway construction projects. However, the variable nature of construction project volume, construction project type, and construction project location can make estimating staffing requirements for both the short and long term difficult. The focus of this synthesis is on identifying factors influencing construction staffing levels required for highway con – struction and what systems are currently being used to forecast highway construction project staff. The synthesis was carried out using a combination of an on-line survey distributed to the 50 STAs, a review of existing tools and methods to forecast construction in use at these agencies, and site visits with non-state transportation agency transportation organizations (such as municipal planning authorities) to collect data on construction staffing.

Of the 40 STAs that responded to requests for information, only seven reported having some formal method or tool for estimating construction staffing needs for future projects. These methods and tools were diverse in their approach, ranging from simple construction staffing heuristics based on project type to complex forecasting models developed through multi-variate regression analysis of historic project data, and taking into account seasonal fluctuations in staffing requirements. Validation effort to verify the accuracy of these systems was either nonexistent or not reported.

In addition to the identification of construction staff forecasting methods in current use, the project also identified poor quality plans, specifications, and cost estimates as the most frequently cited factors in increasing the construction staffing requirements of a given project. This is consistent with previous research on the impact of design errors on construction project performance. The work also found that 88% of respondents to the survey reported using consultants to perform construction staffing functions, representing a significant increase over values reported in previous studies of the use of consultant construction labor by STAs. Additional details on the factors identified that affected construction staffing requirements are described in more detail in chapter three.

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