People board a bus
Post date: Wed, 07/25/2018 - 12:02pm
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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
Post date: Wed, 07/18/2018 - 2:34pm
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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 become available: December...
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Image of a street with cars
Post date: Wed, 06/20/2018 - 3:44pm
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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, Incorporate Emerging...
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Post date: Wed, 04/18/2018 - 3:20pm
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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

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 gerontology, quality-of-life, and mental well-being among older adults through inter-professional and transdisciplinary efforts.

Her dissertation, "Transportation, Social Support by Family Visitation, and Depression of Older Adult Nursing Home Residents: A Mixed-Methods Study," will use a sequential mixed-methodological design to gather information from residents of nursing homes and their family members to measure the...

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Post date: Wed, 03/14/2018 - 10:10am
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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.

Danya Rumore...

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Post date: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 4:25pm
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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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Post date: Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:46pm
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Apr 26, 2018
Content Type: Events

Webinar: Tools and Techniques for Teaching Collaborative Regional Planning

PRESENTATION SLIDES

Miss the presentation or want a look back at the slides? You can view them here.

Small towns and cities outside of national parks and other major natural amenities throughout the western United States are becoming increasingly popular places to visit and live. As a result, many of these gateway...

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Post date: Mon, 11/20/2017 - 4:12pm
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Principal Investigator: Keith Bartholomew, University of Utah
Learn more about this research by viewing the one-page Project Brief, related products and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

New laws in California and Oregon—California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375) and the Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative (SB 1059)—have made them the first states in the nation to try and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions using the transportation planning process.

A new NITC report coauthored by Keith Bartholomew and David Proffitt of the University of Utah evaluates how these pioneering laws have changed local planning processes in each state. Under these laws, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) must include climate goals in their regional transportation plans; coordinating land use and transportation infrastructure in a way that aims at reducing per capita GHG emissions.

"The MPOs have to show how, in the future, they could accomodate population growth, new housing and new...

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Post date: Mon, 11/13/2017 - 9:43am
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Our National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) research program has awarded grant funding for a new series of Small Starts projects.

Small Starts grants assist researchers who are interested in transportation but have not yet had an opportunity to undertake a small project—$15,000 in funding or less—that supports NITC's theme of safe, healthy and sustainable transportation choices to foster livable communities.

The latest projects selected by NITC's executive committee support that theme in exploring livable streets, multimodal safety and transportation efficiency.

The six newly funded projects are:

  • Is There a "Buy Local" Case for Lower Travel Speeds? Testing Differences in Driver Recognition of Local Versus National Retail at Different Travel Speeds—Jonathan Bean and Arlie Adkins, University of Arizona (Full Proposal)
  • How Will Autonomous Vehicles Change Local Government Budgeting and Finance? A Case Study of Solid Waste, Drop-off/Pick-up Zones, and Parking—Benjamin Clark, University of Oregon (...
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Post date: Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:11pm
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Principal Investigator: Reid Ewing, University of Utah
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief, related presentations, and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

A new report from the University of Utah uses data to settle a debate that has been ongoing among transportation researchers since the 1990s: what are the effects of compact development on traffic congestion?

One camp argues that dense, compact development with a mixture of land uses will ultimately relieve congestion by encouraging fewer auto trips. On the opposite side, proponents of highway-induced, sprawling development argue that sprawl decreases congestion by funneling traffic away from dense areas, acting as a "traffic safety valve."

Led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah and Shima Hamidi of the University of Texas at Arlington, this NITC study sought to address the question through cross sectional data. So which of these forms of urban development is better at reducing area-wide traffic congestion?

Surprisingly, neither.

Ewing and Hamidi arrived at the conclusion that development density—whether compact...

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