The 103rd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will be held January 7–11, 2024 in Washington, D.C., and NITC transportation faculty and researchers will be sharing their expertise at the world's largest transportation conference. The TRB annual meeting attracts thousands of transportation professionals from around the globe to address transportation policy, practice, and plans for the future.

Below are a few 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). Check out our full NITC guide for all of the sessions:


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

NITC Research Highlights at TRB 2024

University of Texas at Arlington

Monday, January 8 - Older Adults, Travel Options, and Barriers to Accessibility

In this lectern session, Juana Perez, Mohammad Rashidi, Jobaidul Boni and Kate Hyun of the University of Texas, Arlington...

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We're proud to announce our 2023 Outstanding Student of the Year, Justin Delgado of the University of Utah. This award is presented during the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) banquet at each annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, where the U.S. Department of Transportation honors an outstanding graduate student from each UTC. Justin Delgado will be presented with the award for NITC at this year's CUTC award ceremony. See past NITC Students of the Year.

Justin Delgado, University of Utah

Justin Delgado is a master’s student in the City and Metropolitan Planning Department at the University of Utah. He has been selected as the 2023 NITC Student of the Year and will be presented with the award at the Council of University Transportation Centers banquet at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in January 2023. Justin’s interest in transportation began through his negative personal experiences as a pedestrian and cyclist. His recognition of the inequitable distribution of safe infrastructure between mobility types led him to advocate for the right to travel safely for all types of mobility. Justin currently works as a dual Graduate Assistant for the Physical Enterprise Planning and Development Office (formerly PDC) and the Active Transportation branch of...

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Justice P. Tuffour is a recent graduate of the Master of City and Metropolitan Planning program at the University of Utah. He specialized in smart growth, transportation, land use, and accessibility planning. Justice is a dual recipient of the Department of Planning (CMP) and College of Architecture and Planning (CA+P) scholarships. In the CMP Department, he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant at the Metropolitan Research Center (MRC). Justice is currently working as a Planner and GIS Technician for the city of Holladay, UT.

Connect with Justice on LinkedIn & Research Gate

Tell us about yourself?

Before moving to the University of Utah during the winter of the 2020 pandemic, I pursued most of my education in Ghana where I obtained a Master of Philosophy degree in Planning, and an honorary Bachelor of Science (First Class) in Human Settlement Planning. Two things that I love are spending time with my family and playing soccer....

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Pedestrian safety is critical to improving walkability in cities. To that end, NITC researchers have developed a system for collecting pedestrian behavior data using LiDAR sensors. Tested at two intersections in Texas and soon to be tested at another in Salt Lake City, Utah, the new software created by a multi-university research team is able to reliably observe pedestrian behavior and can help reduce conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles at signalized intersections. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is already working on implementing this new system to improve data collection at intersections.

Learn more in a free webinar May 18. 

The LiDAR system can especially improve multimodal travel at intersections with permissive left turns, which are indicated by a flashing yellow arrow. Previous research has shown that where a flashing yellow arrow, or FYA, is present, cars searching for a gap in traffic may not look for pedestrians. To remove the risk to people walking, some signals are programmed to turn off the FYA when a walk button is pushed. But...

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The transit industry is rapidly moving toward battery electric bus fleets because of the environmental and financial benefits they offer. As electric vehicles become more prevalent, transit agencies have several questions to consider: What is the most cost-effective and equitable way to make the transition to electric buses? How can the buses' charging needs be incorporated into the existing city power grid? In which parts of the city should electric buses be introduced first, and what impacts will all this have on transit operations? A new modeling and visualization tool can help agencies answer those questions.

With funding from a National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) "Translate Research to Practice" grant, a team of University of Utah (UU) researchers led by Xiaoyue Cathy Liu and Jianli Chen have created a model—a "bi-objective optimization framework"—which takes both cost and environmental equity into consideration, helping transit agencies achieve their desired environmental and public health-related outcomes in the most cost-effective way. The flexible framework is a helpful tool for doing cost-benefit analysis on a range of transit-related objectives. The research team also created two products to help transit agencies use the model:

  • A step-by-step guide to implementing the model: ...
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The 102nd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will be held January 8–12, 2023 in Washington, D.C. Supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, research from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) will be featured at this annual gathering. The spotlight theme for the 2023 meeting is Rejuvenation Out of Disruption: Envisioning a Transportation System for a Dynamic Future.

Below are a few 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). 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 of changes.*

NITC Research Highlights at TRB 2023


Transportation Academies as Catalysts for Civic Engagement in Transportation Decision-making
Mon, Jan 9 (1:30 PM- 5:30 PM)...
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How can relocating homeless services away from a downtown center change transportation patterns for people experiencing homelessness? Researchers Sarah Canham, Jeff Rose, Shannon Jones, Alannah Clay and Ivis Garcia of the University of Utah (UU) have published an article in the September 2022 issue of Health & Social Care in the Community.

The article, "Community perspectives on how decentralising an emergency shelter influences transportation needs and use for persons experiencing homelessness," offers evidence to support the need for no-cost transportation options for persons experiencing homelessness.

The findings draw on the ongoing project Understanding the Impact of Decentralizing Homeless Services on Transportation and Mobility in Salt Lake County, funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC).

Despite steady increases in homelessness in the U.S., only recently has research on transportation needs for persons experiencing homelessness been the focus of research endeavours. To fill this gap in the literature, the research team conducted a qualitative study in which 24 professionals working in planning, transportation, local government, and the homelessness services sector were engaged in in-depth, semi-structured interviews.


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Researchers Ivis Garcia, Sadika Maheruma Khan, and Kevin Fagundo-Ojeda of the University of Utah with Miriam Abelson and Nicholas Puczkowskyj of Portland State University have published a new article in the November 2022 issue of Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment.

Scholarship on gendered mobilities has shown that women experience transit differently than men do, particularly regarding personal safety. The article, "Harassment of low-income women on transit: A photovoice project in Oregon and Utah," makes a unique contribution to this body of literature because it shows that women feel targeted also based on their racial or ethnic identity and not only their gender. The article discusses women’s actions every day to increase their sense of safety.

Research has shown that low-income women who are...

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Anna Maki is a second-year masters student in the City and Metropolitan Planning department at the University of Utah. She currently works as a graduate research assistant for the university, and as a transit community outreach and marketing intern at Park City Municipal Corporation. Anna is serving as president of Point B, UU's student transportation group, for the 2022/23 academic year, and has also worked as an active transportation intern for UU's sustainability office. She earned her BS in environmental studies from Utah State.

Connect with Anna on LinkedIn

Tell us about yourself?

I moved from Boise, Idaho to Utah in 2013 and have lived, and adventured, in Salt Lake City for the past five years. I’m currently in my second year of the Metropolitan Planning (MCMP) program and am working as a research assistant creating a walkability audit with an instructional module to be taught in the U’s classrooms. I’ll also be collaborating with the Wasatch Front Regional Council on conducting a walkability and urban design audit in South Salt Lake.

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

I grew up with great access to the outdoors, which generated an interest in sustainability, accessibility, and bicycling. This in turn led me to an active transportation internship with the University of Utah’...

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How can community members become more engaged in transportation decision making?

Individuals and groups can learn to effect powerful change, but success requires some familiarity with how civic processes work. Community Transportation Academies, or CTAs, provide a basic technical understanding of how a city or region’s transportation system operates, along with the decision makers and decision-making processes that determine how the system is shaped.

Supported by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the new Wasatch Transportation Academy (WTA) at the University of Utah was piloted in 2022 in the Salt Lake City region. The research team developed a course vision, topics, and logistics for the WTA by interviewing stakeholders in the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, and the Wasatch Front Regional Council. Led by Nathan McNeil of Portland State University and Keith Bartholomew of the University of Utah, the WTA used the established Portland Traffic and Transportation class in Portland, Oregon as a framework. 


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