Friday Transportation Seminar: Winning the Fight for Better Bus Service

Friday, December 4, 2020, 11:30am to 12:30pm PST
A bus drives  along East Cesar E Chavez Avenue at Los Angeles Downtown. Text reads: Friday Transportation Seminar Winning the Fight for Better Bus Service

We are committed to making decisions that promote the success and well-being of our campus community. Like an increasing number of universities nationwide, Portland State is taking steps to respond to the global pandemic. Until further notice, all live events hosted by TREC will be online only.

Friday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. You can join us online at 11:30 AM.


The "right to the city" depends on the right to access the city, and U.S. regions are marked by profoundly unequal access. One of the clearest manifestations of this is the state of U.S. bus transit. Bus service is simple to improve and has vast potential to better people's lives, but has been constrained by the racist planning and politics that shape every American city.

How can we fulfill the promise of better buses and create abundant transit networks that...

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Webinar: Transportation Benefits of Polycentric Urban Form

Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 10:00am to 11:00am PST
Image: Salt Lake City overview on a sunny day. Text reads: Transportation Benefits of Polycentric Urban Form, Jan 19, 2021.


A “polycentric” region consists of a network of compact developments connected with each other through high-quality transportation options. Rather than continuing the expanse of low-density development radiating from an urban core, investments can be concentrated on central nodes and transit connections. This development pattern is very popular in Europe and is linked to significant benefits. This presentation is aimed at exploring the academic literature and empirical evidence surrounding polycentric development, analyzing more than 120 regional transportation plans to see how they promote polycentric development, defining types of centers in a hierarchy of centers, quantifying the transportation benefits of polycentric development, examining a case study of best practices, and, finally, outlining context-specific strategies for Salt Lake County and the Wasatch Front region.


  • Regional transportation plans suffer from a lack of consistent indicators to designate centers and guide their developments.
  • On average, households living in centers tend to make fewer and shorter automobile trips, take transit more, walk more, and bike less.
  • Tours (a sequence of trips that begins and ends at home) associated with centers consist of more sustainable commuting modes than ones that are completely outside the centers.
  • The built environment thresholds and relevant tools provided in our...
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Webinar: Land Use and Transportation Policies for a Sustainable Future

Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 10:00am to 11:00am PST
Aerial view of urban city road with cars on the road and crosswalk. Text reads: Webinar: Land Use and Transportation Policies for a Sustainable Future.
Note: This webinar has been rescheduled from the original date of 12/11/2020. It will now be held on 2/9/2021.


Even though there are tremendous uncertainties in the timing and evolution path of the Autonomous Vehicles (AV) technology, it may become a likely reality within most MPOs' long-range regional transportation plan horizon of twenty years. Yet a recent survey of the largest MPOs in the US indicates only one of them "even mentions driverless, automated, or autonomous vehicles in its most recent RTP". One of the uncertainties in assessing the impacts of AV is their direction: on one hand, self-driving cars could increase VMT by increasing roadway capacity, lowering costs of travel; on the other, they may reduce VMT by enabling more car-sharing, improving access to transit, eliminating the fixed costs of car ownership, and reclaiming parking space. To date, there is no suitable conceptual framework or modeling tools available to MPOs for quantitatively assessing the likely long-term effects of AV or potential policy scenarios.

This project studies the possible impacts on travel and land use of the emerging AV technology and focuses on advancing this innovative mobility option by making sure it serves the greater good of building sustainable and equitable communities in its adoption. It also contributes to smart cities...

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