Brandon Siracuse recently earned his master's degree in city and metropolitan planning from the University of Utah. While at the U of Utah he worked as a research assistant, earned a NITC scholarship, and served as an officer in the university's transportation student group, Point B. As of June 2021, he now works as a planner for the City of Council Bluffs, IA. Before enrolling in his master's program, Brandon worked as a full-time intern at the Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation in St. Louis, where he primarily did GIS work and data analysis to aid in the nonprofit organization's community planning efforts. Brandon is interested in land use, transportation, and the intersection of the two, and is particularly passionate about active transportation.

Connect with Brandon on LinkedIn

Tell us about yourself?

I am originally from Omaha, NE, and I have also had the great privilege of getting to live in St. Louis and Salt Lake City. I got my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Saint Louis University, and while I was there I realized I wanted to become an urban planner. I recently graduated from the Master of City and Metropolitan Planning program at the University of Utah, where I served as secretary and then treasurer...

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We're proud to announce the publication of a new NITC dissertation: "Free Movement: Enhancing Open Data To Facilitate Independent Travel For Persons With Disabilities," by Shiloh Deitz of the University of Oregon.

"In this project, I found that across the United States there is a lack of both data for accessible pedestrian routing and tools for filling in those data. AI methods have contributed to filling in missing data for applications like autonomous vehicles but much less often to intervene in quality of life improvements. Critical geoAI, that is, bringing a critical geographic lens to artificial intelligence applications, has the potential to contribute to the amelioration of these data and analytic gaps," Deitz said.

Nearly 40 million Americans report a disability, and of this population, 70 percent travel less because of the challenges they face. When they do travel, those with limited mobility are more likely to be pedestrians or public transit users. Today, free commercial routing applications such as Google Maps offer a robust suite of tools for the able-bodied public to walk, ride bikes, take public transportation, or hail a taxi. Yet, such tools for persons with limited mobility to determine a safe and perhaps even pleasant urban route are experimental, limited, and only available in select cities (e.g....

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We're proud to announce the publication of a new NITC dissertation: "Methodologies to Quantify Transit Performance Metrics at the System-Level," by Travis Glick of Portland State University.

Performance metrics have typically focused at two main scales: a microscopic scale that focuses on specific locations, time-periods, and trips; and, a macroscopic scale that averages metrics over longer times, entire routes, and networks. When applied to entire transit systems, microscopic methodologies often have computational limitations while macroscopic methodologies ascribe artificial uniformity to non-uniform analysis areas. These limitations highlight the need for a middle approach. This dissertation presents a mesoscopic analysis based around timepoint-segments, which are a novel application of an existing system for many transit agencies.

In the United States, fix-route transit is typically defined by a small subset of bus stops along each route, called timepoints. For this research, routes are divided into a consecutive group of bus stops with one timepoint at the center. Each timepoint-segment includes all data collected in that segment during one hour of operation. Visuals for congestion and headway performance, based on the aggregated datasets, are designed to...

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Our multi-year study on automated transit fare collection offers a key finding that won't surprise you: Despite the convenience, the rush toward cashless fare systems has created barriers for lower-income riders seeking to use transit. Results from focus groups, surveys, and a review of current transit agency practices suggest that continuing to accept cash is a crucial way to keep transit accessible. However, dealing with cash has drawbacks: it’s time intensive and expensive. Using a detailed cost-benefit model, the researchers explored the costs for agencies to maintain some cash options and found that some simple approaches can be quite effective. The best bang for the buck? Cash collection on board buses.

Launched in 2019, the research project "Applying an Equity Lens to Automated Payment Solutions for Public Transportation" was supported by a Pooled Fund grant program from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and conducted at three universities: Portland State University (PSU), the University of Oregon (UO), and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). The other funding partners were City of Eugene, OR, City of Gresham, OR, Lane Transit District, Clevor Consulting Group, and RTD (Regional Transportation District) Denver....

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The latest report funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities – Transit Impacts on Jobs, People and Real Estate, from the University of Arizona – represents the culmination of nearly a decade of research into the economic effects of transit. To unpack the dense and substantial findings from 17 LRT, 14 BRT, 9 SCT, and 12 CRT systems in 35 metro areas across the United States, we're telling the story in chapters. Last month we focused on how transit impacts the locations of jobs

Now we're taking a deeper dive into volume 3 of the final report: Impact on Where People Live Over Time with Respect to Transit Station Proximity Considering Race/Ethnicity and Household Type and Household Budget by Transit Mode and Place Typology with Implications for Transit and Land Use Planning (PDF).

HOW DOES TRANSIT IMPACT WHERE PEOPLE LIVE?

By the year 2050, America is projected to gain at least 100 million new residents, 40 million new households, and 60 million new jobs. Demographic analysis and consumer preference surveys tell us that at least a third of America’s 150 million households (50+ million) in 2050 will want to live in...

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Jobaidul Alam Boni, or Boni for short, is a Ph.D student currently working as a graduate research & teaching assistant in the department of civil engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. He also serves as the President of the ITE Student Chapter at UTA. Boni completed his B.Sc in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, and his M. Eng in Transportation Engineering from University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests center around human factors and consideration of user behavior in the design, evaluation and innovation of transportation systems.

Connect with Boni on LinkedIn

Tell us about yourself?

I am Jobaidul Alam Boni and I am a Graduate Research Assistant in Transportation Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. Originally, I came from a small town named ‘Faridpur’ in Bangladesh and moved to the capital ‘Dhaka’ in 2006. I finished my bachelor’s in science degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering (BUET) in 2014. Then I joined the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) as an Engineer and worked there for three years till 2017. In August 2017 I joined UTA for my Master’s in Engineering program and got my degree in 2019. Later I joined the Ph.D. program at UTA under the supervision of Dr. Kate Hyun and co-supervision of Dr. Stephen P....

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Dr. Sadegh Sabouri, the newest PhD graduate of the University of Utah's Department of City and Metropolitan Planning, will be working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this coming fall as a postdoctoral researcher. Sadegh (Sadi for short) has worked on numerous NITC projects with his advisor Reid Ewing, and has presented this work in two NITC webinars: New Travel Demand Modeling for our Evolving Mobility Landscape and Transportation Benefits of Polycentric Urban Form

Follow Sadi: LinkedIn | Twitter

Recent publications include an article in Landscape and Urban Planning, "Exploring the relationship between ride-sourcing services and vehicle ownership;" another in Transportation Research Part D on "...

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We're proud to announce the publication of a new NITC dissertation: "Identifying and Measuring Transportation Challenges for Survivors in Intimate Partner Violence Shelters," by Sarah Leat of the University of Texas at Arlington; now an assistant professor of social work at the University of Memphis.

"My dissertation sought to identify environmental factors within the built environment which impact survivors of intimate partner violence residing in domestic violence shelters. The findings indicate that environmental factors within the interior and exterior space as well as the location of the shelter significantly impact the mental health of residents. Particularly, the location of the shelter can impact residents’ mobility. Shelters placed in areas lacking public transportation or resources such as places of employment and health care significantly impact residents’ ability to regain economic independence. Future research is necessary to identify the ideal design and location of domestic violence shelters in order to create healing spaces for survivors of intimate partner violence," Leat said.

Environmental stressors within the built environment can greatly impact health. Environmental stressors, such as noise levels, crowding, and housing quality have been shown to impact physical healing as well as mental health. Although environmental stressors have been examined within...

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Last month, Portland State University announced the 2021 awards for faculty and staff excellence for research, graduate mentoring and research administration. The awards are among the university's highest honors. The 2021 Presidential Career Research Award recipient is Jennifer Dill. Dill is a professor in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Director of the Transportation Research & Education Center at PSU, and Director of the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, a national university transportation center funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

TREC Communications Director Cait McCusker interviewed Dr. Dill last week to learn more about the origin and trajectory of her career in transportation research at PSU.

What led you to choose transportation research as your career?

Growing up in the 1970’s, I was surrounded by environmental issues. It was the time of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the EPA, Earth Day, pollution, the oil crisis...all of that shaping my view on the world. When I went to undergraduate at UC Davis I knew I wanted to do something related to environmental policy and cities. Cities held a certain fascination for me, and in college I started...

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With the extension of the FAST Act, the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) will be receiving one additional year of funding. NITC's Executive Committee has developed four new funding opportunities that build on the excellent work NITC researchers have accomplished and increase the impact we are having nationally on improving mobility to build stronger communities. With this funding, we aim to increase our efforts in integrating racial equity into transportation education and research. Given that our grant will be ending, these opportunities all emphasize projects that are relatively short in length, rely on existing expertise, and will have specific outputs and outcomes– rather than projects that would be the start of longer-term, multi-phase efforts.

We encourage faculty and researchers to review all of the opportunities available and decide which to pursue. Review the new NITC grant funding opportunities here.

We will host two webinars on May 17 and 25 (11 am to 12 pm PST) to discuss all of the opportunities and answer questions. Recordings will be available afterwards.

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