The final report on this research is available now: Design for an Aging Population

Published in April 2017, this study sought to increase understanding of the obstacles faced by people with impairments in vision, hearing and/or mobility, which are common issues for older people, and generate physical product solutions.

The research shows that aging riders face conceptual, physical and social barriers that impact their willingness to use buses. Using the bus was seen as inconvenient, time consuming, physically draining and potentially frustrating. Priority seating areas designated for older and disabled users fill quickly. People with mobility challenges may use bulky walkers and require the availability of grab bars, and users of wheeled mobility devices need different device security. Several situations noted in the study show that physically challenged riders are subject to awkward, uncomfortable social dynamics more than other bus users. Innovation in easy access seats and secure WhMD stations at the front of the bus are critical for older users, as it makes riding the bus less draining and more safe.

This research was presented at TRB's 2017 annual meeting. See below for our coverage of the research at TRB.


Seniors make up a large...

Read more

With his 2011 book, “Human Transit,” consultant Jarrett Walker provided planners and community members with a new way to think about the choices transit planning requires. Since that time, Walker has focused on what transit actually delivers. He calls this concept “abundant access”: how much of your city is available to you in a short amount of time.

Walker will delve into this topic Monday, Sept. 15 as the keynote speaker at the Oregon Transportation Summit. Online registration for the summit closes Wednesday night.

Register now!

“Abundant access is an interesting way to think about transit and something that brings it into the personal frame of liberty that is missing from most analysis of urban outcomes,” Walker said. “How we talk about sensations of freedom, so that we don’t just sound like bureaucrats who know what’s good for everyone.”

Urbanist leaders go astray, Walker said, when they put other goals ahead of the liberty and opportunity that useful transit provides. That could mean catering to developers or creating a symbolic transit system that is fun to ride but doesn’t serve regular transit users well.

Walker calls the New Urbanist conceit of prioritizing an aesthetically pleasing...

Read more

Transit supporters offer up a host of arguments for their favorite form of transportation but may struggle to counter a response of “prove it.” This year’s Oregon Transportation Summit could help change that.

Fresh research showing some of the benefits of transit will keep the public transportation track lively and relevant during the sixth annual summit. Morning and afternoon workshops spotlight transit, bookending a luncheon keynote by noted transit planner Jarrett Walker.

The Oregon Transportation Summit takes place Monday, Sept. 15 at Portland State University.

University of Utah researcher Reid Ewing made national and international headlines recently with a study showing the effect of light rail in a busy travel corridor. The study, funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, was the first to document a drop in automobile traffic after the opening of a light-rail line. Ewing presents his research at a...

Read more

Portland State University students in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program came up with some innovative transit solutions for the Salem-Keizer area, just south of Portland, Ore. in the Willamette Valley.

The Salem-Keizer transit provider, known as Cherriots, requested that a planning group come up with alternative forms of transit that would be a better fit for the study area. MURP students Darwin Moosavi, Brenda Martin, CJ Doxsee, Mike Sellinger, Lauren Wirtis and Matt Berggren took on the challenge as their capstone project.

The bus service currently provided by Salem-Keizer Transit is inefficient in the low-density neighborhoods of West Salem, South Salem, and Keizer. Buses in those neighborhoods often run half-full, or nearly empty, along looping, circuitous roads that lack an interconnected grid pattern.

The student team, Paradigm Planning, proposed a “flexible transit” system which can better serve this type of low-density suburban area.

Fixed-route transit is typical bus service, in which buses come to predefined stops at regularly scheduled intervals. Demand-responsive or paratransit, the opposite extreme, is an on-demand service typically reserved for the elderly or disabled, in which a rider calls to be picked up by a bus at...

Read more

Historically, large-scale transportation infrastructure projects have had devastating outcomes in communities of color. With twentieth-century urban renewal efforts often came the displacement of underprivileged communities, the loss of low-income neighborhoods and their replacement with affluent housing and freeways.

According to new OTREC research from the University of Oregon, transit-oriented development, or TOD, can offer a different trajectory. Rather than displacing residents, TOD has the potential to improve neighborhoods for the benefit of those who live there.

OTREC researcher Gerardo Sandoval grew up near MacArthur park, one of the two sites studied, and has witnessed firsthand the neighborhood’s dramatic change. “I think the coolest thing about MacArthur Park is that now it’s considered a national model for TOD. When I was growing up there … nobody saw it like that. It was thought of more as a low-income area,” Sandoval said.

The project examined two California neighborhoods: MacArthur Park, in Los Angeles, and Fruitvale, in Oakland. In both neighborhoods, the majority of residents are recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America, many of whom have significantly lower incomes and rely heavily on public transportation.

In the last few decades, both sites have seen TOD coincide with neighborhood revitalization, and...

Read more
The Multnomah Youth Commission, or MYC, held its first Youth Summit on Transit Justice on May 17, 2014 at David Douglas High School.
 
The MYC, a group of young people ages 13-21, plays an advisory role for local government in Multnomah County and the City of Portland.
 
The summit held on Saturday the 17th was an entirely youth-led event, with members of the MYC meeting at David Douglas at 11 a.m. After they spent the morning organizing their materials and preparing their arguments, they opened the doors for adults.
 
PSU professor Lisa Bates, who is studying the transit-dependent population for NITC, was in attendance with her capstone students. As part of a capstone course where students are required to conduct research that leads directly into social equity, Bates’ students worked with the youth of the MYC on transit justice. They applied a social science research foundation to their ideas and assisted them with using some best practices in the field. 
 
At 2:30 p.m., transit policymakers and community leaders began to enter the high school. Following a brief introductory presentation, the young people split up the group into breakout sessions.
 
During the sessions, members of the...
Read more

Nohad Toulan’s influence on Portland State University and the wider community can be seen not only in the school bearing his name, the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, but also in the holistic approach to transportation research and education that would help cement Portland’s innovative reputation and shape its transportation center, OTREC.

Toulan, emertitus dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs, and his wife, Dirce, both died Monday.
He was 81 and she was 78.

Toulan helped pave the way for the creation of OTREC by stressing the value of human development, said Robert Bertini, OTREC’s founding director. “Our focus on emphasizing people, on building and encouraging the development of faculty, students and collaborators outside the university, that was directly influenced by the atmosphere created by Dean Toulan,” Bertini said.

Portland State’s Urban Plaza embodies Toulan’s vision of an urban university connected with its city. There, the college’s lessons spill out into a vibrant plaza interwoven with transit and the life of Portland.

OTREC’s—and Portland State’s—reputation for multidisciplinary, collaborative transportation research grew thanks in part to Toulan’s efforts. Toulan extended Bertini, an engineering professor, a joint appointment the College of Urban and Public Affairs. “He said, ‘I need an engineer in my college,’” Bertini...

Read more

Northeastern Universityís Peter Furth is known equally for his research in public transportation, bike planning and traffic signals. Furth brings his diverse interests to Portland for the holiday-shortened week of May 25th. On Tuesday, 5/26, there will be a seminar on his traffic signal priority work and on Wednesday, 5/27, there will be another seminar on his work regarding cycle tracks. In addition, Furth will have a variety of meetings with local transportation practitioners, including a bike tour by staff from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. The visit is co-sponsored by OTREC and IBPI. For more information about the seminars, visit PSU's Center for Transportation Studies.

WEBINAR VIDEO

Webinar: What Do We Know About Location Affordability in U.S. Shrinking Cities?

WEBINAR SLIDES

Slides from this presentation will be available soon.

WEBINAR SUMMARY

Traditionally the discussion about affordability has focused on housing, but HUD’s Location Affordability Index (LAI), released in 2012, helped to elevate the conversation by expanding the focus to include households’ transportation costs. In the first part of this webinar, Dr....

Read more

The video begins at 0:29.

View slides

Speaker: Brian Saelens, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Seattle’s Children’s Hospital & University of Washington
Topic: Links Between Public Transportation and Physical Activity (Effects of LRT on Physical Activity Based on Seattle GPS Study)

Summary: This seminar will explore the empirical evidence regarding the links between the use of public transportation and physical activity, with a specific focus on using integrated device and self-report methods to identify travel modes and physical activity.

Bio: Brian E. Saelens, Ph.D. is a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and Principal Investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Saelens is a clinical/health psychologist. His interest areas include obesity treatment and prevention, especially in environmental factors and policies that influence physical activity and eating behaviors in children and adults. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed original investigation and review articles.

Pages