Trip-making and accessibility: New tools, better decisions (SSTI, 2016)

Transportation researchers and practitioners have long sought other tools to complement or perhaps replace conventional methods—tools that would better analyze trips rather than speed at points in the system, speak to non-auto modes of travel, address land use solutions as well as highway infrastructure, and so on. Fortunately, new sources of data and emerging methods, as well as new-found interest in performance and scenario planning, are yielding the types of tools that the field needs.

Growing a Culture of Transportation Sustainability in Massachusetts (McCahill, Ebeling and Codd, 2014)

MassDOT is among a growing number of state agencies tackling sustainability efforts in the transportaiton section and its approach offers valuable lessons for others. number of state agencies tackling this issue and its approach offers valuable lessons for others. This paper traces the evolution of MassDOT’s sustainability efforts, beginning with its revised Project Development and Design Guide, published in 2006, and ultimately encapsulated in its ongoing GreenDOT program, launched in 2010. These efforts represent the combined actions of state legislators, agency leaders, and personnel at all levels of MassDOT.

Quantifying Transit’s Impact on GHG Emissions and Energy Use—The Land Use Component (TRB, 2015)

Transit often fails to get the credit it deserves for reducing traffic and emissions. In most U.S. cities, transit’s mode share is in the single digits, so the direct effect of ridership seems small. And while it’s clear that even in places with low mode share transit plays a role in raising densities—and thereby reducing travel distances—this relationship has been hard to quantify; conventional demand models simply take land use as an input. Filling this gap is a report and tool from TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program.

A People’s History of Recent Urban Transportation Innovation (Transit Center, 2015)

In the past decade, several cities have transformed their streets by adding bus and bike lanes, creating new pedestrian plazas, and emphasizing the movement of people instead of cars. This new report examines six cities’ recent innovations in urban transportation. It looks at what is behind successful change and found common elements. Based on the experience of the cities studied, TransitCenter recommends actions for transit advocates, policymakers, foundations, and anyone interested in transportation change.

Cities Safer By Design (World Resources Institute, 2015)

A new report examines cities around the world to discover why some have safer streets than others. The authors provide real-world examples and evidence-based techniques to improve safety through neighborhood and street design that emphasizes pedestrians, bicycling, and mass transport, and reduces speeds and unnecessary use of vehicles.

Smart Mobility: Reducing congestion and fostering faster, greener, and cheaper transportation options (Deloitte Public Sector Research, 2015)

Deloitte’s Public Sector Research organization offers a study that found that the expansion of alternative modes of transportation could lead to reduced congestion and other benefits, and identified the types of transportation suited to a city or suburb. The study uses geospatial analytics, such as coupling location data with existing government data, to examine the potential congestion reduction benefits in major metropolitan areas across the U.S. Congestion reduction could result from the expansion of alternative modes of commuting.

Transit Value Capture Coordination: Case Studies, Best Practices, and Recommendations (Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 2015)

Nearby public transportation boosts property values, and increasingly cities are asking developers to help fund transit improvements that will benefit their projects. This report examines various value-capture methods used in four cities operating some of the largest and oldest transit systems in the nation, with the greatest backlogs of unfunded capital needs.

Co-monitoring for Transit Management (Rudin Center for Transportation, 2014)

Transit agencies often do rider surveys and in-person checks of equipment and infrastructure. But by monitoring social media, agencies may get a faster report of problems and rider concerns. This report suggests methods for “co-monitoring,” the monitoring of field conditions through a combination of staff reports, data analysis and public observations.