NITC researchers Anne Nordberg, Jaya Davis, Stephen Mattingly, Sarah Leat and Mansi Patel of the University of Texas at Arlington have published two new journal articles related to their NITC project, Optimizing Housing and Service Locations to Provide Mobility to Meet the Mandated Obligations for Former Offenders to Improve Community Health and Safety. Read about the original study here, which focused on helping former offenders overcome transportation challenges to reintegrate into society.

The two articles, published in Mobilities and the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, disseminate the NITC study among different audiences and disciplines; highlighting the need to address transportation and complex social issues through more than one lens.

In the November 2021 issue of Mobilities, "Towards a Reentry Mobilities Assemblage: An Exploration of Transportation and Obligation Among Returning Citizens," the authors investigated the mobility needs of returning citizens from the perspective of service providers and employers in Dallas, Texas. They interviewed 17 participants who directly served returning citizens in their professional...

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Dr. Jandel Crutchfield and NITC scholar Erin Findley of the University of Texas at Arlington have published an article in the January 2022 issue of Child & Family Social Work: "Accessibility of transportation to child-welfare involved parents and the related impact on court-ordered service participation.

The article explores the impact of transportation access on child welfare-involved families' service participation. 

Families involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) face daunting steps to meet their service plan goals in the effort to achieve reunification with their children. Families who lack transportation access face additional barriers. This study explored Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, volunteers' perspectives of these barriers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine CASA volunteers, with questions regarding volunteers' experiences of transportation access for parents and children. Primary emphasis was placed on families' access to services. Three primary themes emerged in the data analysis:

  1. challenges are wide-ranging, exacerbated by transportation issues;
  2. transportation linked to court-ordered services success; and
  3. practical...
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Christine Highfill is a PhD student and graduate research assistant in social work at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). She retired as a military spouse in 2014. She has since earned her master's in social work from UTA in 2019, and a master's of arts in human services counseling with a focus on military resilience from Liberty University in 2016. Her primary research interests are social determinants of health and military-connected spousal abuse.

Connect with Christine on LinkedIn

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Christine Highfill. I’m a third-year social work doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington. My main research emphasis is social determinants of health across the lifespan; within that, I’m most interested in policy related to military-connected domestic abuse. Social work research is my second career. During most of my adult life I was a military spouse raising a large family during the Global War on Terror. I see my research as a way to give back to the Military and its families.

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

I had not considered transportation as a research path until I began my graduate research assistantship with Dr. Noelle Fields. Although I have personally experienced latent transportation demand in the past...

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Imagine you've just been released from prison. You don't have a phone yet, or a car, but through your reentry service, you are set up for now with a place to stay. They also got you a job interview for next Monday, but it's across town. You also have mandatory mental health, medical health, and parole-related appointments to make it to this week, so right now— transportation is your biggest problem. You have three complementary bus tickets, and you need to figure out the best way to use them.

"I can't imagine trying to navigate my way through a city, tackle the bus system and find my way around without a smartphone - in a community that I haven't been in for ten, twenty, however many years," said Dr. Stephen Mattingly. 

That's the scenario facing roughly 2,000 former inmates who return to communities every day in the U.S. 

To help them to reintegrate into society, researchers Anne Nordberg, Jaya Davis and Stephen Mattingly of the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) leveraged funding from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) on ...

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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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As we get older, transportation provides a vital link between home and community. Without reliable and easy ways to get around, many older adults (especially those who live alone) have limited access to essentials like groceries and medicine, let alone social interaction. A new report from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), Developing Strategies To Enhance Mobility And Accessibility For Community-Dwelling Older Adults, looked at the mobility challenges, barriers, and gaps that older adults experience, with an eye toward developing forms of assistance or educational strategies to fill those gaps.

Funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) with additional support from The Senior Source, the interdisciplinary research team from the University of Texas at Arlington included Kate Hyun, Caroline Krejci and ...

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What is the relationship between access to transportation and our own perception of physical health?

That's the question researchers explored in the latest report funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), "Examining the Impact of Transportation- Related Barriers on Self-Perceived Physical Health among Adults in the United States." Specifically looking at household car ownership, the study found that having access to a vehicle correlated with better self-reported health. 

Among the other modes, respondents who used buses or paratransit were more likely to report their physical health as poor, while those who walked, biked or rode the train were more likely to report better physical health.


The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), conducted every 5 to 7 years by the Federal Highway Administration, is the primary source of information on the travel behavior of the American public. In 2017 the...

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The National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research consortium, led by Portland State University, has awarded $530,419 in total funding for seven new research projects spanning five universities. With the extension of the FAST Act, NITC received one additional year of funding, and given this limited time frame, we emphasized projects that were relatively short in length, relied on existing expertise, and would yield specific outputs and outcomes. Several of the projects have an equity focus, and much of the research aims to make it easier to get around multimodally and/or by walking. The seven new projects are:

Led by Danya Rumore of the University of Utah and Philip Stoker of the University of Arizona
  • Rumore and Stoker focus on the unique transportation challenges of 'gateway' communities, or small towns adjacent to natural areas that attract large populations. Their previous...
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We're proud to announce the publication of a new NITC dissertation: "Modeling Capacity: Multiple Weaving Areas," by Sheida Khademi of the University of Texas at Arlington.

"Traffic congestion on freeway systems is one significant concern in urban areas throughout the U.S.A. In this era, building new freeways to reduce congestion is less feasible due to the high capital and social costs. Thus, the effective management and operation of existing freeway facilities has become a preferred approach to reduce traffic congestion. Using the outcomes of this research, agencies can get an idea of which effective variable they should control to manage freeways' multiple weaving areas more efficiently; obtaining the highest capacity while planning for existing freeways. The results will be presented to DOTs and MPOs. The model would be highly useful and money-saving for these agencies, as they prefer to obtain higher capacity by managing existing freeways rather than buying right of ways," Khademi said. 

Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Traffic congestion on freeway systems is one significant concern in urban areas throughout the U.S.A. In this era, building new freeways to...

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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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