This article was originally published in Catalyst, February 2021.
Solving real-world problems sometimes requires a very boots-on-the-ground approach. When Metro Transit began experiencing a bus driver shortage, researchers from the University of Minnesota (U of M) decided to do some first-hand observations of bus dispatcher life in order to develop a tool that could make scheduling easier.
Continue reading Researchers Develop Analytics Tool to Predict Gaps in Metro Transit Bus Driver Schedules
This article was originally published in Catalyst, November 2020.
Electric scooters let riders move quickly between the roadway and the sidewalk, but these sometimes-unpredictable travel patterns can pose risk for riders and the people around them. Making scooters smarter is the goal of a new U of M research project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Under the $1.2 million Cyber-Physical Systems grant, a cross-disciplinary team will study smart tracking systems on scooters for ensuring safe and smooth interaction with other vehicles and pedestrians.
Continue reading Team Receives NSF Grant to Study ‘Smart e-Scooters’
Roundabouts reduce the severity of crashes at intersections, but transportation agencies have received some feedback from pedestrians indicating that roundabouts, especially larger multi-lane roundabouts, can be difficult to navigate.
Continue reading New Project: Pedestrian User Experience at Roundabouts
Overweight and oversize vehicles can accelerate pavement damage, increasing the cost of maintenance and rehabilitation of road infrastructure networks.
Continue reading New Project: Economic Benefits of Truck Weight and Safety Enforcement Improvements
This article was originally published in Catalyst, July 2020.
A new study from researchers in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs found that transitway investment adds considerable economic value to metropolitan regions, including the Twin Cities area, and it increases access to the places people need to reach to prepare for, get, and keep a good job.
Continue reading Transitway Investment Leads to Higher Regional GDP, Job Growth, and Accessibility
The benefits of Minnesota’s rural and small urban transit systems exceed the costs of services, according to a study sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). For every dollar spent to provide transit services in Greater Minnesota, benefits worth $2.51 are shared throughout the communities, according to the “Measuring the Economic Benefits of Rural and Small Urban Transit Services in Greater Minnesota” report.
Continue reading Study: Public Transit Benefits Exceed Costs in Rural and Small Urban Areas
A new guidebook published by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board offers a uniform approach and practical methods for selecting locations and the right treatment for uncontrolled pedestrian crosswalks in Minnesota.
Continue reading Selecting Uncontrolled Pedestrian Crosswalk Treatments
Video and statistical analyses showed that arterial bus rapid transit (ABRT) along Snelling Avenue in Minneapolis-St. Paul had no significant impact on traffic volume and wait times at intersections. Survey results demonstrated that users prefer the A Line over local bus service and consider it roughly equivalent to express bus, light rail and commuter rail service. Though ABRT has not converted automobile drivers to transit riders, users enjoy its easy payment format, cleanliness, route service and convenience. This study also provided recommendations for future ABRT line design considerations.
Continue reading Impact of Arterial Bus Rapid Transit on Traffic and Users
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has 137 truck stations across the state. These stations house and allow maintenance of MnDOT highway equipment as well as provide office and work space for highway maintenance staff. Within 20 years, 80 of these stations will need to be replaced as they reach the end of their effective life spans. Researchers developed a geographic information system based modeling tool to determine the most effective locations for truck stations in the state. Using data from many sources, a new research study has determined that MnDOT could rebuild 123 stations, relocate 24 on land available to MnDOT and combine two. MnDOT would save millions of dollars using the location optimization alternatives over the 50-year life cycle of a typical truck station.
Continue reading New Tools to Optimize Truck Station Locations
Researchers developed a method for associating travel times and travel costs with transit mobility. In an evaluation of bus–highway system interactions, investigators found that park-and-ride lots and managed lanes put suburban and walk-up urban transit options on equal footing. Bus–highway system interactions improve access to job locations and have improved transit access to job sites by about 20 percent compared to automobile access. When wage-related costs are included, the benefit of automobile use over transit use diminishes significantly.
Continue reading Bus–Highway Connections Make Transit More Competitive With Driving