Orange bicycle

The latest Small Starts Grant projects, selected by NITC's executive committee, will explore equitable access to mobility options, communicating the applied value of GPS data to agencies, and transportation resiliency in natural disasters.

This annual NITC funding program is a unique opportunity to tackle small-scale ($20,000 or less in scope) research projects. In contrast to our larger, annual flagship program ($30–150K), Small Starts enables us to include researchers who:

  • Bring a diverse, interdisciplinary perspective and may not have considered applying a transportation lens to their work before.
  • Offer a new voice in the field, whether they’re untenured faculty or a researcher who has not received a NITC grant before.
  • Seek to kick-start a larger project by first tackling an exploratory study smaller in scope.
THE NEW PROJECTS

The new projects represent a mix of topics and disciplines across our partner campuses, aimed at supporting and advancing mobility with a focus on creating equitable transportation options. These projects total $60,000 in funding for this round.

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People talking and looking at materials in a workshop

We held our annual flagship professional development event, Transportation & Communities, on September 13 and 14. In honor of the event's ten-year anniversary, we changed up the format: Rather than a typical conference with one-hour sessions and a keynote gathering, we offered a selection of intensive half-day workshops. See photos from the event.

The workshops gave practitioners a chance to take a deep dive into new skills in order to walk away with new tools or frameworks that could be applied to their work. We offered a review of congestion mitigation strategies, universal access and equity in pedestrian planning, and discussion on how smart technology could be implemented in suburban communities. Several workshops were based on findings from new research by the National Institute for...

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Keunhyun Park - University of Utah

Keunhyun Park, Assistant Professor at Utah State University, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Keunhyun Park graduated from the University of Utah in the spring of 2018, and is now a tenure-track assistant professor at Utah State University. In January 2018 he received a TRB Best Paper Award for "Travel Behavior in TODs vs. non-TODs: Using Cluster Analysis and Propensity Score Matching (PDF)," a paper he coauthored based on a NITC-funded research project with Brenda Scheer and Reid Ewing of the University of Utah. Selection was made by the Transportation and Land Development Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

Utah State Profile | LinkedIn


Tell us about yourself:

I am from South Korea, where I studied landscape architecture for both my undergraduate and...

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Left: Bicycles on a trail; Right: Young woman buying transit pass

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is soliciting proposals for our two 2018 Pooled Fund projects:

RFP now open; proposals due Oct 1, 2018

This project will address the need of cities and municipalities to combine bicycle data from different sources (such as manual counts, automatic counts, and crowd-sourced data from apps such as Strava) to assess an accurate accounting of bicycle traffic on a network. Current work on data fusion techniques is limited and additional research is needed to fully understand the choice of weighting techniques, inclusion of spatial vs. temporal variation in the...

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People board a bus
Principal Investigator: Ran Wei, University of California, Riverside
Learn more about this research by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page, or sign up for our September 14 half-day workshop in Portland, OR.

Regular assessment of public transit performance is essential. With limited funding and growing public needs, performance evaluation helps identify areas for improvement. But what, exactly, is the desired improvement that transit agencies seek?

If the answer is operational efficiency, then agencies have a clear goal: to achieve the highest ridership possible with the lowest operational costs.

If the answer is access equity, then again a clear goal emerges: to extend transit to neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-income residents and minorities, and to evaluate proposed route changes through the lens of supplying much-needed services.

The real answer, of course, is both. Historically, research has examined...

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Stock image of bicycles

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2018 Small Starts request for proposals (RFP). Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by September 17, 2018.

The Small Starts grant assists researchers (based at NITC partner universities) who are interested in transportation but have not had an opportunity to undertake a small project ($20,000 or less). Read about the Small Starts projects that were funded in 2017. Projects must be consistent with NITC's theme of improving the mobility of people and goods to build strong communities.

Our theme includes a few key topics:

  • Increasing access to opportunities
  • Improving multi-modal planning and shared use of infrastructure
  • Advancing innovation and smart cities
  • Developing data, models, and tools

Key Dates

  • RFP Opens: July 18, 2018
  • Proposals due: September 17, 2018
  • Award Selection: Sept-Oct 2018
  • Projects begin & funds...
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Image of a street with cars

The National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research consortium, led by Portland State University, has awarded $926,000 in total funding for eleven research projects spanning five universities.

The General Research grant is NITC's flagship grant. Annually, we fund general research through a competitive, peer-reviewed RFP process for projects ($30,000 - $150,000) consistent with our theme of improving the mobility of people and goods to build strong communities.

Four of these new projects involve multi-university collaboration, and seven are advancing the transportation knowledge base by building upon an existing body of research. The new group of projects will help lead the deployment of innovative new technologies and practices to improve the safety and performance of transportation systems:

Led by Liming Wang of Portland State University with co-investigator Yao-Jan Wu of the University of Arizona
This multi-university collaboration expands upon previous research by Liming Wang,...
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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is proud to announce our two Spring 2018 Dissertation Fellows. Hear from the fellows about their projects below, or learn how to apply for funding through the NITC Dissertation Fellowship Grant hereProposals for Summer 2018 Dissertation Fellowships are due June 1, 2018.


Vivian Miller, University of Texas at Arlington

In November 2018, Vivian Miller published Investigating Barriers to Family Visitation of Nursing Home Residents: A Systematic Review, a paper based on her NITC-funded dissertation, in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

Vivian Miller is a third-year doctoral candidate in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her primary research interests are in...

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Principal Investigator: Danya Rumore, University of Utah
Learn more about this education project by viewing the Executive Summary and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page. Hear firsthand from the investigators by registering for the upcoming April 26 webinar.

A newly published NITC education project offers tools for teaching collaborative regional planning in communities close to national parks and other natural attractions.

Referred to as Gateway and Natural Amenity Region (GNAR) communities, these unique places have their own set of challenges and opportunities. They are often located near small towns or rural areas with limited transportation networks, but  due to the periodic influx of visitors, can experience “big city problems” like congestion and sprawl.

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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) program has released its 2018 general research request for proposals. Faculty at NITC's partner universities* are invited to submit abstracts by April 2, 2018.


Through funding provided by the U.S. DOT, we will award at least $1 million under our general research grant in 2018 for projects that support NITC’s theme: improving mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. Our theme includes a few key topics:

  • Increasing access to opportunities
  • Improving multi-modal planning and shared use of infrastructure
  • Advancing innovation and smart cities
  • Developing data, models, and tools

Research projects must focus on transportation, with additional consideration given to projects that emphasize equity and diversity in their research and partnerships. We’re seeking projects that demonstrate a strong potential to move transportation research into practice, shape national and international conversations, and respond to the needs of practitioners and policymakers. 

Priority is given to projects that are collaborative, multidisciplinary, multi-campus, and support the development of untenured-tenure-track transportation faculty. 

Key Dates

  • Abstracts due: April 2,...
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