Category Archives: Policy and Planning

New Project: Improving Transportation Equity for All by Centering the Needs of Marginalized and Underserved Communities

Government policies often prioritize the needs of the dominant group or culture, resulting in systems and services that benefit some people more than others. To better address the transportation needs of underserved communities, transportation agencies must first understand people’s lived transportation experiences. Listening is a critical first step toward mitigating the effects of marginalization and discrimination in transportation.

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New Project: Assessing the Effects of Highway Improvements on Adjacent Businesses

Highway improvement projects in metropolitan areas can offer a variety of benefits, including greater safety for travelers and increased activity for businesses near the roadway. However, improved roads may also negatively impact long-standing businesses as new retailers and chain stores displace them.

A greater understanding of the effects of highway improvements on businesses in the Twin Cities’ commercial corridors will help MnDOT deliver projects more successfully.

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‘Expanding the Transportation Workforce’ project creates tools for local agencies

Local transportation agencies in Minnesota are facing a growing workforce shortage. In a recent project, Minnesota LTAP led the creation of tools to help expand the transportation workforce and fill open positions—today and tomorrow.

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Transition to Distance-Based Fees: Where do we go from here?

This article was originally published in Catalyst, August 2021.

As vehicles switch from gas-fueled to electric and revenues from the gas tax begin to decline, experts in the transportation industry are looking for alternative ways to fund roadways. Distance-based user fees (DBUFs) have been gaining political traction as a possibility.

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New Project: MnDOT Haul and Detour Routes – Impacts on Local Roads

When local roads are temporarily used as haul roads or as detour routes, MnDOT compensates local agencies. However, local agencies believe the compensation model is outdated and inadequate, especially for local roads not built for large volumes of heavy vehicles. The methodology also has not been updated to reflect that local agencies have invested more local property and sales tax revenue into their systems beyond the gas tax.

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New Project: Identifying and Optimizing Electric Vehicle Corridor Charging Infrastructure for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

Transportation is the number one emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota and medium to heavy duty trucks contribute to about 40% of transportation carbon pollution.

While electric cars and buses are becoming more common, medium and heavy duty electric trucks are still in their infancy, and the nationwide infrastructure needs to support them still has to be determined.

In a new study, MnDOT will identify the electric charging infrastructure needed along Minnesota highway corridors to support clean freight transportation.

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New Project: Understanding How the Disparate Effects of COVID-19 are Affecting MnDOT’s Efforts at Equitable Contracting

MnDOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program was established by the federal government to ensure women-owned and minority-owned businesses have the opportunity to participate in MnDOT contracts.

Several contracting barriers exist for DBEs, which may have been exacerbated by COVID-19, such as access to capital, a shortage of PPE materials and staffing shortfalls due to workplace risks and caregiving responsibilities. 

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New Project: Telecommuting During COVID-19: How Does It Shape the Future Workplace and Workforce?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees in both the public and private sectors have begun telecommuting. The resulting reduction in commuting hours and miles traveled on state highways has been staggering.

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Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Minnesota’s Transportation Workforce

Across the transportation industry, public and private employers are experiencing workforce shortages and an uncertain future. As older employees retire and younger workers fill their roles, organizations must naturally adjust to accommodate their changing workforce. In the transportation industry, shifting demographics have also brought new attitudes regarding technical jobs. The result is that fewer engineers and other highly skilled professionals are entering the field, and keeping those who do is becoming increasingly difficult. To address this changing landscape, transportation agencies of all sizes must be prepared to meet the challenges ahead or risk falling behind.

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