The Innovative DOT: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (SSTI & SGA, 2015)

SSTI and Smart Growth America continue working with state departments of transportation and tracking innovative strategies for meeting 21st century transportation needs. The 2015 edition of The Innovative DOT builds upon its predecessor with updated content and fresh new ideas from a growing number of states.

Accessibility in Cities: Transport and Urban Form (Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, 2014)

This paper focuses on one central aspect of urban development: transport and urban form and how the two shape the provision of access to people, goods and services, and information in cities. The more efficient this access, the greater the economic benefits through economies of scale, agglomeration effects and networking advantages.

Public Bikesharing in North America During a Period of Rapid Expansion: Understanding Business Models, Industry Trends, and User Impacts (Mineta Transportation Institute, 2014)

This study evaluates public bikesharing in North America, reviewing the change in travel behavior exhibited by members of different programs in the context of their business models and operational environment. This research, featuers interviews with IT-based bikesharing organizations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as both annual members and casual users of the bikesharing systems.

Access Across America: Transit 2014

Researchers at the University of Minnesota released a new report ranking major metropolitan areas in terms of their accessibility to jobs by transit. The report complements the group’s 2013 release, which measured job accessibility by automobile, and builds upon their ongoing efforts to develop tools for assessing transportation performance in terms other than mobility and congestion. Rankings were determined by a weighted average of accessibility, giving a higher weight to closer jobs. The calculations include all components of a transit journey, including “last mile” access and egress walking segments and transfers.

Who’s on Board: The 2014 Mobility Attitudes Survey (Transit Center and RSG, 2014)

This study reveals that Americans from regions across the country think about and use public transit in remarkably similar ways. The report is the first to compare rider and non-rider attitudes by age, income, education, family status and ethnicity, and to examine both cities and suburban areas across various regions of the U.S. The work documents the unmet need for reliable, quality transit. This preference is true across age groups and geographic regions.

Making Effective Fixed-Guideway Transit Investments: Indicators of Success (Transportation Research Board, 2014)

Fixed-guideway transit projects, such as urban rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) lines, are among the largest infrastructure investments that cities and metropolitan areas make. This research report includes a handbook and links to a spreadsheet tool to assist in predicting the likelihood of project success based on the conditions in a potential transit corridor and the metropolitan area. For this research, success measures were defined based on project ridership and the change in transit system usage. A set of indicators was identified that are strongly related to these measures based on an intensive data collection and statistical analysis process.

Going for Growth: Enhancing the Economic Impact of Public Transit in Gateway Cities with Comprehensive Service Planning (SSTI and MassINC, 2014)

Massachusetts’s Regional Transit Authorities have an opportunity to improve their existing service and make the case for more funding from the state by making the most of a new planning requirement from the legislature. As part of 2013’s landmark transportation finance legislation, the state legislature mandated that the RTAs conduct comprehensive service plans. This paper argues that if done well, these assessments could help make the case for more funding from the state going forward.

Making Effective Fixed-Guideway Transit Investments: Indicators of Success (TRB, 2014)

With bus rapid transit and light rail lines among the most expensiveinfrastructure projects undertaken by cities, funding is not taken lightly by local officials. The Transit Cooperative Research Program undertook a study to identify conditions and characteristics typically associated with successful fixed-guideway transit system investments and provide guidance on evaluating proposed investments based on these conditions and characteristics.

Advancing a Sustainable Highway System: Highlights of FHWA Sustainability Activities (FHWA and Volpe Center, 2014)

This report from FHWA illustrates how sustainability has been incorporated into a wide variety of FHWA programs, projects, policies, processes, and partnerships. It is intended to be used by a diverse audience of transportation agency professionals at the Federal, State, and local level as well as the general public.

Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros (George Washington School of Business, 2014)

This report, issued by the George Washington University Business School, examines the growing preference for walkable urbanism and what that means for infrastructure, economic development, housing, etc. The authors rank the 30 largest metros on walkable urbanism, identifying a future demand for tens of millions of square feet of walkable urban development. This demand would provide an economic foundation for the U.S. economy, similar to the building of drivable suburbs in the mid to late 20th century.