National Institute for Transportation and Communities
Improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities — through research, education and technology transfer.
The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is one of seven U.S. Department of Transportation national university transportation centers funded by the FAST Act.
Housed at Portland State University, NITC is a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). This Portland State-led research partnership includes the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah, University of Arizona and University of Texas at Arlington.
Urban populations are increasing, yet so is income inequality. As the second-largest household expense, transportation is a significant contributing factor. Demographic shifts, along with efforts to address climate change and other policy challenges, are contributing to the demand for multimodal solutions. Rapid advances in technology and shared mobility have the potential to address these challenges, yet they also pose new ones in implementation and equity. With constrained resources, we need better data and tools to optimize mobility for all.
To address these challenges, our consortium of six leading universities focuses on research to:
INCREASE ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITIES
IMPROVE MULTI-MODAL PLANNING & SHARED USE OF INFRASTRUCTURE
ADVANCE INNOVATION & SMART CITIES
DEVELOP DATA, MODELS & TOOLS
Our research is designed with end-users in mind: elected and appointed decision-makers, transportation professionals, and an engaged public. We disseminate our research through education programs and toolkits in order to produce a diverse, interdisciplinary workforce at all levels and ages.
Our shared goal is a safe and efficient multimodal system that promotes economic opportunities, improves health, and reduces inequality - through innovative technology and effective, data-driven decision making.
The Origin of NITC
Portland State University, the University of Oregon, and the Oregon Institute of Technology jointly formed OTREC in 2005 - one of the first national university transportation centers to be designated and funded by the U.S. DOT. The partnership outgrew Oregon’s borders to welcome the University of Utah in 2012, adopting the NITC name, and again in 2013 with the addition of the University of South Florida. The NITC program continued its national expansion through the University of Arizona and the University of Texas at Arlington and in late 2016 successfully competed for five years of funding as one of five national centers in the U.S.
Our Team at Portland State University
Dr. Jennifer Dill is a professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University (PSU) and Director of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at PSU. TREC houses the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), which she also directs. NITC is a national university transportation center funded by the US Department of Transportation focusing on improving mobility for people and goods to build stronger communities. Dr. Dill also serves on the Board of Trustees for the TransitCenter, a New York-based foundation that works to improve public transit in cities across the U.S. Professor Dill is an internationally known scholar researching the relationships between transportation, land use, health and the environment, focusing on active transportation. Before entering academia, Professor Dill worked as an environmental and transportation planner in California. That experience motivates her teaching and research, which aims to inform practice and policy. She has published extensively in peer-review journals and has served as principal investigator or co-PI on over $4.3M in research projects and over $28M in federal center funding. Her research has been covered by Wired, Governing, USA Today, the PBS NewsHour, Here and Now, Marketplace and the Atlantic. She has served on and chaired Transportation Research Board committees and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Transportation and Health, Transportation Research Record and the Journal of Transportation and Land Use. Professor Dill also serves on the Board of Trustees for the TransitCenter, a foundation that works to improve public transit across the U.S. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Dill worked as an environmental and transportation planner in California. Dr. Dill has a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley, an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a BS in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from UC Davis. She is also an aluma of the Eno Future Leaders program. See her researcher profile here.
Hau is the Associate Director of TREC at Portland State University and is responsible for the day-to-day management, operations and provides overall direction for the TREC's peer-reviewed research and technology transfer programs, and shaping workforce development efforts. She actively participates in national efforts on conducting and implementing research. She also oversees programming and delivery of professional development workshops through the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI). She is co-Chair of the TRB Conduct of Research Committee, Chair of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OBPAC), and member of the Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation (R1ACT). Hau has over 20 years of public and private sector experience in transportation. In her spare time, she runs to escape juggling the busy lives of three active kids.
Rebecca is the Events & Office Coordinator for TREC, providing administrative support and managing logistics for TREC's events. She has a background in creative writing, and holds an M.F.A. from North Carolina State University. When she's not working, she likes to spend time reading and writing poetry, riding her bicycle, and snuggling with her cat.
503-725-8545 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lacey is the communications coordinator for TREC. She connects with researchers, writes articles, and documents (through pictures, videos, and model towns) the value of the transportation research being done at TREC and through the NITC program. Before TREC, Lacey was the acquisitions editor for Dark Discoveries magazine. She also managed the editing department at Ooligan Press, Portland State University's student-run publishing house. She graduated from PSU in 2013 with a master's in book publishing. In her spare time Lacey enjoys swimming, reading, and making stop-motion animation videos. she/her/hers
Tammy Lee, Ph.D.
Transportation Data Program Administrator
503-725-2884 | email@example.com
Tammy is working on a variety of projects for TREC, including documentation, data synthesis, analysis, and visualization supporting ongoing work with PORTAL and Bike-Ped Portal. Tammy received a BS in Genetics & Plant Biology from UC Berkeley before earning a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from WSU. Prior to joining TREC she worked as a data scientist for a political digital media consulting firm. When not working she's either hiding in the forest or experimenting in the kitchen.
Mr. John MacArthur is the Sustainable Transportation Program Manager at TREC at Portland State University and an instructor in civil and environmental engineering, teaching on new & emerging technologies in transportation. He is active in research related to sustainable and equitable transportation, particularly in the areas of emerging tech such as e-bikes, bike share, transit, and the relationship between transportation and public health. Mr. MacArthur is the Section Chair for Transportation Research Board’s AME00 Transportation and Society and a member of Innovative Public Transportation Services and Technologies (AP020). He received his BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and a MS in Environmental Health Sciences from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.
Nathan McNeil is a Research Associate at Portland State University's Center for Urban Studies. He conducts research on impacts of active transportation and transit equity, on new bicycle infrastructure and programs on travel behavior and attitudes towards cycling, on shared-use mobility programs including carsharing and bike-share, and on the connection between land-use and transportation. He was Co-Principal Investigator on recent national studies of bike share equity (Breaking Barrier to Bike Share and National Scan of Bike Share Equity Programs) and of protected bike lane implementations (Lessons from the Green Lanes). Nathan received a master of urban and regional planning from Portland State University (PSU) and studied history at Columbia University as an undergraduate. Prior to PSU, Nathan worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City as a performance auditor where he evaluated capital programs and contractors.
Cait joined the TREC team in fall 2017 with an extensive background in event planning and strategic communications for green building policy and design. An avid biker and long-time volunteer with pedestrian advocacy group Oregon Walks, she is excited to tackle the dissemination of the center's progressive portfolio of transportation research on mobility. Storytelling is a critical piece to moving research from the theoretical realm to practical application, and Portland is the perfect transportation landscape for this. She served as the Chair of the 2019 Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals conference, and is currently the Board Chair of Professional Development for the Portland Chapter of WTS. Off-hours she spends her time with Tomato the Dog, tending to her 82 house plants, or biking around the city.
Brendan is responsible for TREC’s day-to-day research project management and metrics tracking from inception to close-out. Also, he administers the competitive, peer-reviewed, project selection process including the annual Request for Proposal, Pooled Fund, small starts, and dissertation fellowships. Prior to this, he provided financial management and project coordination for Oregon State University’s Precollege Programs. Brendan enjoys playing soccer, going on long bike rides, traveling to other countries, or, most often, making pizza.
GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS (2020-21)
University Research Partners
The NITC program is a Portland State-led partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Utah, University of Arizona, and University of Texas at Arlington. Our university partners conduct research projects around our theme, and match money to each project.
Dozens of partners, including universities, utilities, governments, businessess, and nonprofit organizations have supported NITC projects with cash matches or in-kind assistance.
Council of University Transportation Centers
NITC is a member of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC), which provides a forum for universities and centers to interact with government and industry.
Arlie Adkins, PhD
Associate Professor of Urban Planning
School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Arizona
Keith Bartholomew, JD
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Professor, City & Metropolitan Planning
College of Architecture + Planning, University of Utah
Roger Lindgren, PE, P.Eng, PhD
Professor of Civil Engineering & Graduate Program Director
Civil Engineering Department, Oregon Institute of Technology
Stephen P. Mattingly, PhD
Professor of Civil Engineering
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington
Marc Schlossberg, PhD
Co-Director, Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI)
Professor, City and Regional Planning
School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon
Liming Wang, PhD
Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning
Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University
NITC Advisory Board
The NITC advisory board comprises transportation professionals from various regions and organizations throughout the United States whose role is to lend guidance in NITC's research, education and technology transfer programs.
Diana Alarcon, Director of Transportation, City of Tucson
Michael Baltes, Federal Transit Administration
Michael Bufalino, Research Section Manager, Oregon Department of Transportation
Wendy Cawley, Safety Engineer, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation
Jen Duthie, Division Manager, Arterial Management, City of Austin
Kate Fillin-Yeh, Director of Strategy, National Association of City Transportation Officials
Toshi Forrest, Principal, Clevor Consulting Group
Susan Handy, Director, National Center for Sustainable Transportation
Cameron Kergaye, Director, Planning, Utah Department of Transportation
Bill Keyrouze, Technical Programs Director, Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations
Ted Knowlton, Sustainability Director, Wasatch Front MPO
Brian Lagerberg, Director, Public Transportation Division, Washington State Department of Transportation
Alan Lehto, Director of Planning & Policy, TriMet
Ivan Marrero, Division Administrator, FHWA-Utah Division
Hugh Morris, National Association of Realtors
Gabe Rousseau, Safety Operations Team Leader, Federal Highway Administration
Brian Saelens, Principal Investigator, Seattle Children's Hospital
Tom Schwetz, Planning & Development Director, Lane Transit District
David Straus, Executive Director, Association for Commuter Transportation
Yinhai Wang, Director, PacTrans
Wayne Kittelson, Senior Principal Engineer, Kittelson & Associates, Inc.
PROGRESS REPORTS - FAST ACT (NATIONAL)
Written for our U.S. DOT grant reporting, our semi-annual progress reports share the activities and impacts of the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) research program. We also maintain the annual reports from our predecessor grant OTREC.
In late 2016 this university research partnership, lead by Portland State University, successfully competed for five years of funding as one of five national centers in the U.S under the FAST Act. The NITC program continued its national expansion through the addition of University of Arizona and the University of Texas at Arlington. With this new grant and partners we adapted our research theme to focus on the mobility of people and goods.
On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act into law, making it the first federal law in over a decade to provide long-term funding for surface transportation infrastructure planning and investment. The FAST Act authorized $305 million in spending from fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for the maintenance of existing and establishment of new initiatives in research, education and workforce development, and the facilitation of technology transfer. As part of its efforts to fulfill the FAST Act federal mandate, DOT hosted a grant competition which resulted in the announcement of 32 new UTC Centers in December of 2016.
PROGRESS REPORTS - MAP-21 (NATIONAL)
This research partnership grew again in 2013 with the addition of the University of South Florida and representation from the southeastern region of the United States. We continued to focus our research efforts around theme of livable communities.
In 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) continued the UTC program, authorizing the competitive selection of 35 UTCs to receive a total of $72.5 million in funding for each of Fiscal Years 2013 to 2014, with continued funding from extension acts through Fiscal Year 2015. Following a competition in 2013, grants of approximately $3 million each were awarded to five National UTCs, $2.75 million each to ten Regional UTCs, and $1.5 million each to twenty Tier 1 UTCs. Fourteen of the 35 UTCs selected in the 2013 competition were new recipients of UTC Program grants.
PROGRESS REPORTS - SAFETEA-LU EXT (TIER 1)
In 2012 the partnership between Portland State University, Oregon Tech and University of Oregon outgrew Oregon’s borders to welcome the University of Utah in 2012. We earned the designation of a US DOT Tier 1 UTC and adopted the new name of National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). With this new designation, we defined our national research theme around safe, healthy, and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities. Our work focused all modes of transportation, including bicycling, walking, personal vehicles, transit, and freight.
The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010, enabled the US DOT to redistribute funds allocated to specified research projects and programs designated in SAFETEA-LU. A full and open competition was held, following the framework of the competitive UTC programs. Grants of approximately $3.5 million each were awarded to ten Tier 1 UTCs, two Tier 1 Transit-Focused UTCs, and ten Regional UTCs. Fiscal Year 2012 funds were added to these grants following additional extension legislation.
PROGRESS REPORTS - SAFETEA-LU (OTREC)
Portland State University, University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Technology, and Oregon State University were jointly designated a UTC under the SAFETEA-LU legislation in 2005. The center was named OTREC (Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium) and was the first UTC led by an Oregon university (PSU). This early origin story of NITC put Oregon on the map as a hub of multimodal transportation research for the nation.
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), enacted in 2005, provided the most significant expansion of the UTC program to date. SAFETEA-LU increased the number of UTCs from the 33 established in TEA-21 to 60, including the ten Regional UTCs plus a new group of ten competitive centers called Tier 1 Centers; the other 40 UTCs were located at institutions named in the Act. Annual authorized funding for the UTC program also increased from $32.5 million in TEA-21 to $85.9 million in SAFETEA-LU.