Research demonstrates that marginalized populations experience significant barriers in accessing transit. The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) and the Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative (HRAC) at Portland State University are working with the University of Utah in a project funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) to understand how people from selected historically marginalized communities experience discrimination and harassment on transit and in public areas such as sidewalks, bus stops, and transit platforms when accessing transit.

The study will be conducted in two sites: Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City, Utah. In Portland, the study population will include racially and ethnically diverse people experiencing homelessness and people who identify as transgender and gender nonconforming; and ride TriMet. In Salt Lake City, the study population will include people experiencing homelessness as well as diverse groups based on their gender, racial, and ethnic identity; who ride Utah Transit Authority. We are seeking transit riders to help inform the study through photos and interviews. Participants will be compensated up to $50 for their labor. The researchers will be recruiting participants for this study through the end of August. 

PARTICIPATION INVOLVES:

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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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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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Led by Xiaoyue Cathy Liu of the University of Utah (UU) and funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, researchers have created a web-based modeling tool (see GitHub repository built for the Utah Transit Authority) that enables U.S. transit providers to explore the impacts of changing over their systems to electric buses*. The researchers ran the model for TriMet in Portland, OR as well, with TriMet results and analysis presented in the final report (PDF).

"The interactive visualization platform lets users explore various electric bus deployment budget scenarios, so that transit agencies can plan the most cost-effective way to transition their fleet from diesel to electric buses – while prioritizing disadvantaged populations," Liu said.

The research team, at University of Utah, Portland State University (PSU), and University of California, Riverside, set out to answer three questions: 

  1. What costs and benefits are associated...
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The world's largest transportation research conference is celebrating its 100th birthday online, with over 14,000 RSVP's. TRB 2021 officially began this week, and while we're not out roaming the snowy streets of D.C, we’re still able to enjoy each other’s expertise from our homes. So instead of bemoaning what we'll miss, we’re celebrating the NITC-funded researchers who are presenting their work. On January 6, 2021 the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) honored NITC Student of the Year Gabby Abou-Zeid, along with Hau Hagedorn, NITC associate director, who won the CUTC-ARTBA Award for Administrative Leadership.

VIEW THE ONLINE GUIDE TO NITC AT TRB 2021

DOWNLOAD NITC PRESENTATION FILES

NITC AT TRB 2021 HIGHLIGHTS

We’ve ...

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Image: Left - Crosswalk with blue lines to illustrate the concept of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems); Right- Hanna Hutcheson with a ponytail and a blue shirt. Text reads: NITC student spotlight, Hanna Hutcheson, University of Utah.
Photo by metamorworks/iStock

Hanna Hutcheson is a second-year Masters of City and Metropolitan Planning student at the University of Utah. Her specialization is in Transportation and SMART Growth, and she is passionate about increasing accessibility to transit, designing cities to be more pedestrian and cyclist friendly, and improving environmental conditions through planning. Hanna also works as a graduate teaching assistant, and in the summer of 2020 she completed an internship with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. 

LinkedIn


Tell us about yourself?

Hi! I’m originally from Eugene, OR, but I got my undergraduate degree in geography from BYU and have been living on and off in Utah ever since. I’m in my second year of the MCMP program at the University of Utah, focusing on SMART growth and transportation; my passion lies specifically with transit and, to a lesser degree, active transportation and complete streets. Outside of school, I’m a big fan of reading, Netflix, ‘80s music, and embroidery.

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

I have to give a shout-out to Ted Knowlton, the deputy director of the SLC region’s MPO, for really sparking my interest in...

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Bus riders board a bus at a stop with a shelter, sign, and benches.
Photo by Ja Young Kim
Keith Bartholomew, University of Utah; Arlie Adkins, University of Arizona, Tucson

 A bus stop can be anything from a simple signpost stuck in the grass, to a comfortable shelter with seating and paved access to the sidewalk. For many U.S. transit agencies across the country, improving facilities at bus stops is a priority. But how much do these improvements actually affect ridership? A lot, it turns out. A new NITC study, co-funded by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and led by Keith Bartholomew...

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Salt Lake City overview on a sunny day
Photo by AndreyKrav
Reid Ewing, University of Utah

 A "polycentric" region is a network of compact developments (centers) that are connected with each other through high-quality transportation options. As the antidote to sprawling suburbs, compact centers can encourage all the things that sprawl discourages: public health, environmental sustainability, social cohesion, and economic diversity. But how can metropolitan planning organizations ensure that...

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A streetcar crosses a road with a bicycle signal, with a light rail train visible on an overpass overhead.

The National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research consortium, led by Portland State University, has awarded $1.14 million in total funding for eleven research projects spanning five universities. This year we focused funding on disaster resilience (including transportation in the era of COVID-19) and improving mobility in marginalized and underserved communities. Several projects examine how emerging technologies can be leveraged to create safer, more sustainable transportation systems for everyone.

Understanding Connections Between Mobility, Transportation, And Quality Of Life In Refugee Communities In Tucson, Arizona ($101,839
Led by Orhon Myadar, Maia Ingram, Nicole Iroz-Elardo and Arlie Adkins of the University of Arizona

Data-Driven Optimization for E-Scooter System Design ($67,619)
Led by Jianqiang Cheng and Yao-jan Wu of the University of Arizona

Understanding the Mobility Impacts of Decentralizing Homeless Services on Mobility in Salt Lake City ($100,206)
Led by Sarah Canham and Ivis Garcia of the University of Utah

Pedestrian...

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Jake Gallaher, alongside a photo of a bike lane at an intersection in Salt Lake City, Utah. Text reads, "Student Spotlight: Jake Gallaher, University of Utah."
Jake Gallaher is a graduate assistant at the University of Utah's College of Architecture and Planning. He is a leader in Point B, the University of Utah's transportation student group, and his work with that group focuses on improving bicycle safety. Jake earned his B.S. in civil engineering from Ohio Northern University in 2019. In 2018 he served as an engineering intern at SDS Mechanical & Automation.

LinkedIn


Tell us about yourself?

I am entering my second year in the Master of City and Metropolitan Planning program at the University of Utah. I’m originally from Ashville, Ohio and I received my B.S. in civil engineering from Ohio Northern University in 2019. Shortly after, I picked up from Ohio and moved to Salt Lake City where I’ve been enjoying hiking around in the Wasatch Mountains and exploring a new city outside of my studies.

What (or who) has influenced your career path in transportation?

Ever since I was a little kid, I could be found studying, or drawing maps. The transportation system as a whole has always been a curiosity of mine and ultimately...

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