Alonso Carrillo is a dual masters student studying urban planning and real estate development at the University of Arizona (UA), and the recipient of a 2022 fellowship from the UA Center for Applied Transportation Sciences. He is also a 2023 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Minority Student Fellow, and will present his research at the annual meeting of TRB in January. Alonso earned his bachelor's degree in architecture from UA in 2019, and has also worked as a junior designer at MASON Architects.

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Tell us about yourself?

My name is Alonso Carrillo, I received my bachelor’s degree in architecture at the University of Arizona in 2019 and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for a short period of time within the architecture field. Since then, I have returned to the University of Arizona to continue my education and expand my knowledge around planning and the built environment. Currently, I am enrolled in a dual master’s program for Urban Planning and Real Estate Development.

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

During my time working as an architectural designer in the San Francisco area, I noted that many high-end developments were located along the BART/Caltrain stations which gives their residents the ability to rely on...

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When the COVID-19 pandemic first swept across North America and led to emergency shutdowns during the spring of 2020, the way people acquired food and household necessities was dramatically impacted. As stay-at-home orders minimized personal travel, transit services were reduced and many stores and restaurants either closed or modified their operations. 

Some of the gaps were filled by online retailers and delivery services. However, access to goods and services varied substantially depending on people's age, income level, and ability.

A new multi-university study funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the U.S. DOT-funded university transportation headquartered at Portland State University, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) captured how households responded as local, state, and federal governments imposed and lifted restrictions, brick-and-mortar establishments closed and reopened, and e-commerce and delivery services adjusted to the changing conditions.

The findings of this research are critical for emergency planning, but also for understanding the ever-changing mechanisms used to access retail and service opportunities (whether in person or online). The research identifies opportunities for future interventions to remedy barriers to accessing food, which will...

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Researchers Chandler Smith, Orhon Myadar, Nicole Iroz-Elardo, Maia Ingram and Arlie Adkins of the University of Arizona have published a journal article in the July 2022 issue of the Journal of Transport Geography.

The article, "Making of home: Transportation mobility and well-being among Tucson refugees," is accessible online for free until September 22. It examines mobility challenges that refugees in Tucson, Arizona experience after their resettlement. 

Refugee issues have been brought to the forefront of political and public debate in recent years, and refugee households face many challenges when integrating into new homes and communities, including challenges related to mobility, accessibility, and the availability of transportation options. The study specifically focuses on refugee communities who have resettled in the city of Tucson, Arizona. Arizona has has been one of the top refugee-receiving states in the nation. Tucson alone is currently home to at least 11,500 refugees representing 50 countries and speaking 45 languages.

Using qualitative and quantitative data collected from interviews and survey data, the researchers argue that mobility shapes the ways refugees foster social connections, attain employment and access educational opportunities. Accordingly, barriers to mobility negatively impact...

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Incorporating transportation into the land development process is a big undertaking, with many important angles to be considered. Researchers are translating NITC research on this theme into a popular, easy-to-understand graphic format: comics. Led by an interdisciplinary team at Portland State University and the University of Arizona, they're illustrating transportation considerations in the land development process as a comic to reach a broader audience on this critical topic. 

Related: Read about the NITC Research Roadmap on Transportation and Land Use.

Still in development (the images here are early working drafts, illustrated by PSU student Joaquin Golez and Portland, OR illustrator Ryan Alexander-Tanner), the comics are based on research findings from several projects funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). The project team is working with readers at neighborhood associations and nonprofits to test this unique approach in sharing research findings. We interviewed three of the project team members Kelly Clifton of PSU, Ryan Alexander-Tanner and Susan Kirtley of PSU to hear how it's going.

Can you share more about...

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Are e-scooters just the first sign of a shared-mobility revolution? If they are, then researchers at the University of Arizona intend to make sure that the emerging transportation system has functional models on par with other modes of transportation. In 2018, approximately 100 U.S. cities had already launched shared e-scooter programs, accounting for 38.5 million trips. However, the models to manage e-scooter sharing are only recently being developed. In a project funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and led by Dr. Jianqiang Cheng, the research team set out to develop data-driven, decision-making models for shared-mobility system design and operation in Tucson, Arizona.

"The decision making process for e-scooter companies is complex. One of the first questions is where to locate the scooters – In the transportation network, where do e-scooters need to be placed to meet demand? The second question is how to distribute them. It gets more complicated when you introduce different electric charging methods, so that some scooters are being collected by paid contractors and others are being charged by customers, through incentives," Cheng said.

As the researchers see it, the main benefits of shared mobility are threefold:

  1. ...
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Xiaobo Ma is a Ph.D. Candidate from the University of Arizona. His major is Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Transportation Engineering and a minor in Statistics and Data Science. He is a recipient of the Jenny L. Grote Student Leadership Award this year, which recognizes an exemplary graduate ITE student chapter member who has shown exceptional dedication to the transportation profession through ITE service, mentoring, research, real-world experience, and other noteworthy accomplishments. He has written multiple journal papers and won several influential awards in the U.S. and China, and has worked on many hands-on and practical research projects for public agencies in Arizona.

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I am a Ph.D. Candidate from the University of Arizona. I am a fast learner, a team player, and a passionate researcher aiming to apply statistical and machine learning methods to solve complex and practical problems in the field of transportation engineering. In my free time, I love swimming and traveling.

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

Under my advisor Dr. Yao-Jan Wu’s supervision, I have been involved in several research projects and doing solid practical and theoretical research in developing local, regional, and national...

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Dr. Joey Iuliano of the University of Arizona, a 2020 NITC dissertation fellow who earned his Ph.D. in 2021, has published a journal article in the March 2022 issue of Cogent Social Sciences: Where and how Tucsonans ride and implications for cycling infrastructure

Drawing from cycling ethnographic work, Dr. Iuliano used video recordings of three groups of cyclists (commuter, recreational, and athletic) in Tucson, AZ, to contextualize their movements and interactions with the built environment, drivers, and other cyclists. Cycling can be utilitarian for commuters and a social, leisure, and athletic activity for recreational and athletic riders. Depending on their reason for riding, cyclists utilize infrastructure to suit their needs and protect themselves from drivers. Confidence levels also influence where and how people ride. For example:

  • Commuters rode defensively and sought out less-trafficked facilities.
  • Recreational riders rode solo on paths and in groups on open roads.
  • Athletic riders claimed space from drivers by riding in packs while being mindful of group safety.

Video ethnography helps improve the understanding of the different reasons for cycling and those experiences. With this information, planners can provide more accurate maps and overcome pushback from some cyclists by designing...

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The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is proud to introduce our newest Dissertation Fellow, Austin Drukker of the University of Arizona, who was awarded $15,000 for his doctoral research project: How Essential is Essential Air Service? A Welfare Analysis of Airport Access for Remote Communities

Mr. Drukker will study the welfare implications of Essential Air Service (EAS), a federal government program that provides subsidies to airlines that provide commercial service from remote communities. Congress established EAS after the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which gave airlines almost total freedom to determine which domestic markets to serve and which fares to charge, fearing that the newly deregulated airlines would shift their operations to serve large, profitable markets, leaving remote communities without access to the national passenger airline network and the markets and opportunities that come along with such access. By combining novel data containing information on airline passengers’ home location with cutting-edge econometric techniques, Mr. Drukker will study the value that EAS community members place on having access to their community airport as revealed by their actual choices. Mr. Drukker’s preliminary findings suggest that passengers who live in communities with subsidized service have a plethora of choices available to them and many if not...

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In recent years, shared electric scooters (e-scooters) have taken cities around the world by storm. But how are people using this new mode of transportation? Seeking to understand the potential impacts of e-scooters on land use, infrastructure and sustainability goals, researchers have some new interesting data to share on e-scooter users, exploring the interplay between demographics, behaviors and trip purposes.

Funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and led by Kristina Currans and Nicole Iroz-Elardo of the University of Arizona and Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, the study combines a user survey with on-the-ground observations to characterize the use and safety of e-scooters. The research team also included students Dong-ah Choi,...

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The 101st annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) is coming up January 9 - 13, 2022, and has returned to an in-person gathering in Washington, D.C. Supported by funding from the U.S. DOT, research from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities will be featured at this annual gathering.

Below we've rounded up some highlights of research being presented by transportation experts from our participating NITC-funded campuses: Portland State University (PSU), University of Oregon (UO), University of Utah (UU), University of Arizona (UA), and University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Please check out our full NITC guide for all of the sessions:

*Due to the evolving status of speaker attendance and TRB programming for next week, please check your TRB schedule for the most current information in the event...

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