SSTI’s scenario analysis tool unveiled; will allow DOTs to better engage with land use authorities

Transportation agencies traditionally have to chase land use development, spending scarce funds to provide new roadway capacity, when better land-use patterns could have greatly reduced travel demand. SSTI’s new scenario analysis tool, developed for DelDOT, provides a way for transportation providers to influence land use development for the better.

Intelligent Transportation Systems: Improved DOT Collaboration and Communication Could Enhance the Use of Technology to Manage Congestion (GAO, 2012)

Traffic congestion burdens the nation’s quality of life and will likely grow substantially if current trends continue. ITS can reduce congestion at less cost than some other approaches. GAO recommends that the Secretary of Transportation clearly define the roles of RITA and …

Michigan Odyssey reveals transit realities

In late March, 15 transportation advocates embarked on a cross-state trip of Michigan using only local and regional transit. Along the way they met with local and state officials and transit advocates. Their experiences highlight both where transit is lacking in Michigan as well as how it could become an economic driver and preferred transportation choice in the future.

The Colorado Energy Smart Transportation Initiative: A Framework for Considering Energy in Transportation (SSTI and Colorado DOT, 2012)

The mission of Colorado’s Energy Smart Transportation Initiative was to develop a framework for considering energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in transportation decision-making. With SSTI assistance, a collaborative team composed of federal and state agencies, MPOs, and rural planning partners came together to leverage resources and promote efficiency and effectiveness among agencies by exploring ways to develop “energy smart transportation” strategies. This report includes strategies developed to incorporate energy efficiency and GHG emissions in transportation planning, increase energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions from transportation, advance environmentally friendly alternative vehicle and fuel technologies, and increase efficiency through truck fleet enhancements, improved traveler information, and other methods.

Transportation and the New Generation: Why Young People are Driving Less and What it Means for Transportation Policy (Frontier Group and U.S. PIRG Education Fund, 2012)

A new report released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and the Frontier Group demonstrates that Americans have been driving less since the middle of last decade. This trend away from …

“Patent troll” targets transit agencies over vehicle tracking apps

For years, technology companies have battled “patent trolls,” individuals and firms that do not produce products, but instead sue to assert patent rights to various innovations. Now at least one patent troll is targeting U.S. public transit agencies, over bus- and train-tracking applications the agencies make available to customers via smartphones and the Web. The apps, now in common use, represent significant innovation for transit agencies and a boon to riders. But the lawsuits are a legal and financial nightmare for cash-strapped transit operators.

Transit ridership continues upward trend in 2011

According to new figures from APTA, 2011 transit ridership is at the second highest level since 1957, only higher in 2008, when gas topped four dollars per gallon. An improving economy, rising gas prices, and easy access to transit information via mobile apps are credited as three reasons for the continued rise in transit use. Ridership grew in large, medium and small communities, showing strong support for transit.