As of September 1, 2012, the University Transportation Center for Mobility (UTCM) is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived UTCM website remains available here.

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Volume 5, Number 2 – May 2011

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Director's Message

Melissa S. Tooley, UTCM Director

Melissa S. Tooley,
Center Director

In addition to our regular overview of center activities, this issue of Upwardly Mobile focuses on UTCM’s transit programs.

Rural demographic trends indicate a growth in the population share for those over age 65, coupled with a decrease in population density in many rural areas. At the same time, the 2010 Census has shown there is substantial population growth in some rural counties, particularly in counties surrounding major metropolitan areas. Both demographic trends suggest an increase in demand for rural transit services. Yet resources to provide rural transit are limited.

The UTCM is actively engaged in research, education and technology transfer to assist rural transit providers in improving service efficiency and effectiveness within limited resources. UTCM transit research is addressing basic problems, leading to efficient public transit systems for rural populations, including disadvantaged, aging and disabled persons as well as increased efficiency of services in small urban areas. UTCM’s transit education programs are developing innovative courses and practical training to recruit and train the public transportation workforce. And UTCM’s technology transfer is leading the way in disseminating data, technology and research results to policy-makers, transit agencies, and planners, while providing networking, training and development to help the workforce implement new technologies.

More information on each of the projects listed in this issue, including final reports on completed projects, may be found on the UTCM website,

Melissa S. Tooley

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UTCM Transit Research

* Total project value (UTCM funds + leveraged funds)


Service Quality Through Dispatch Strategies

Suzie Edrington - $45,000

The ability of transit agencies to staff dispatch effectively and use technology to its full advantage is critical in responding proactively as service changes occur and in making sound routing decisions. Sound routing decisions result in improved productivity and cost-effective service delivery. A modest 3% improvement in service productivity would save the average rural demand response transit agency approximately $65,000 annually. This project focused on improving productivity while maintaining service quality. Researchers collected data from 42 demand response rural and small urban transit agencies regarding operations and use of technology. Case studies of five representative agencies focused on: 1) dispatcher goals and objectives, 2) dispatch-driver policies and procedures, 3) team responsibilities and expectations, and 4) reports and material collection. The resulting guidebook describes the impact of maximizing productivity, development of policies and procedures that affect productivity, service delivery strategies that impact productivity, dispatch performance measurement, an assessment tool for productivity elements of dispatch, and steps to implement a productive dispatch operation. The guidebook PDF document - For best results, view PDF files with the most recent version of Adobe Reader [PDF, 760K, 70 pages] , is available via the UTCM website,

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Transit Services for Sprawling Areas with Relatively Low Demand Density: A Pilot Study in the Texas Border’s Colonias

Luca Quadrifoglio - $76,100 ($75,000+$1,100)*

The colonias along the Texas-Mexico border are one of the most rapidly growing areas in Texas. Because of the relatively low income of the residents and an inadequate availability of transportation services, the need for basic social activities for the colonias cannot be properly met. The objectives of this study are to have a better comprehension of the status quo of these communities, to examine the potential demand for an improved transportation service, and to evaluate the capacity and optimum service time interval of a new demand responsive transit "feeder" service within one representative colonia, El Cenizo. The authors present a comprehensive analysis of the results of a survey conducted through a questionnaire to evaluate the existing travel patterns and the potential demand for a feeder service. The results from the subsequent simulation analysis showed that a single shuttle would be able to comfortably serve 150 passengers/day and that the optimal headway between consecutive departures from the terminal should be between 11-13 minutes for best service quality. This exploratory study should serve as a first step towards improving transportation services within these growing underprivileged communities, especially for those with demographics and geometry similar to the target area of El Cenizo.

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Examining Challenges, Opportunities and Best Practices for Addressing Rural Mobility and Economic Development under SAFETEA-LU’s Coordinated Planning and Human Services Framework

June Martin - $168,480 ($100,000+$68,480)*

In response to changes in federal requirements for rural transit planning, the Texas State Legislature and the Texas Department of Transportation have recently developed coordinated transit and human services plans for 24 planning regions in the State of Texas. This study evaluates both the processes that have been adopted throughout the state, as well as the types of outcomes that have emerged. Having engaged in perhaps the nation’s most comprehensive approach to meeting the revised federal requirements, the Texas experience in developing coordinated transit and human service plans is particularly useful for identifying opportunities, barriers, and best practices to coordinated rural transit planning, and thus for filling a major gap in the available professional guidance.

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Nationwide Examples of State and Local Funds for Mass Transit

Linda Cherrington - $50,000

One of the transportation challenges facing Texas is the identification of adequate funding for mobility projects. The chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security requested the Texas Transportation Institute to update previous research on national examples for funding regional transit and to provide additional information on regional rail projects. The research is presented in this paper documenting nationwide examples for funding mass transit and regional rail. The research findings provide background information for members of the Texas Senate Committee as they consider and make decisions for funding mass transit in Texas.

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Multiple Depot Vehicle Routing with Applications to Paratransit and Rural Transportation

Swaroop Darbha - $111,963 ($80,000+$31,963)*

Senior Entering Bus

This project considers a basic problem that is commonly encountered in transportation: given a set of vehicles, possibly starting from different depots, and set of locations where passengers need to be picked up, find a route for each vehicle such that every location is served by some vehicle and the total cost of serving the location is a minimum among all possible allocations and sequencing of locations to the vehicles. It is required that the vehicles return to the depots after servicing the locations. In this project, we are developing algorithms to feasibly address this problem in real time with constraints on how far the found solution is from the optimal solution. Results will form the basis for tackling more complicated problems, such as demand responsive routing of vehicles, which is common in paratransit and rural transportation applications.

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Impacts of Funding and Allocation Changes on Rural Transit in Texas

Suzie Edrington - $75,000 ($65,000+$10,000)*

Funding among Texas rural transportation districts has undergone rapid and significant change over the past five years. First, under SAFETEA-LU, the FTA committed to increased rural funding. At the same time, TxDOT implemented a revised "needs plus performance" based method for distributing both federal and state rural funds among providers. The method resulted in a significant redistribution of funding among providers; some were programmed to lose half of their FY2004 funding level, while others were slated for increases exceeding 300%. The 2010 national census will introduce another point of discontinuity in funding as population and land area, the two "needs" factors in the current funding allocation formula, will be assigned to either enlarging or emerging urbanized areas in several rural areas. Modification to the funding allocation formulae is almost certain at that point. This project will provide rural transit operators, TxDOT and elected officials with the results of the increased investment and redistribution of rural transit funds over the last five years. This information will be critical when considering future state funding levels and funding allocation formula changes.

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Evaluating the Use of Transfers for Improving Rural Public Transportation Systems

Luca Quadrifoglio - $122,690 ($80,000+$42,690)*

Due to widely dispersed population density in large suburban/rural areas, conventional fixed route transit services hardly satisfy the travel needs of residents of these areas. Demand responsive transit (DRT) systems have flexible routes and schedules that can provide curb-to-curb/door-to-door services to better meet the needs of rural areas. However, rural DRT services are still extremely costly to operate. In this project we consider a variation of the regular demand responsive transit system which adopts the practice of transfers to reduce operating costs. This project evaluates the effect of different transfer policies by developing a simulation model of several plausible scenarios, based on data from Houston METRO and other rural transit agencies across Texas. This study will provide decision makers and DRT agencies with information for innovative operating practices to improve the performance and cost efficiency of rural public transportation systems.

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Examining Long Distance Express Buses as an Extension of and Feeder to Passenger Rail Systems

Laura Higgins - $82,000

One of the mobility challenges facing Texas and other high-population states in the coming years is the rising travel demand along major intercity travel corridors. Increased passenger rail service may help to absorb some of the travel demand from crowded highway and air travel corridors, but service is cost-prohibitive to develop over very long distances. This project explored the potential of using express intercity bus service as an alternative to and an extension of passenger rail service, thus providing a similar type of higher-speed, limited-stop service over long distances with lower development costs than rail. (See Spotlight on Research.)


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UTCM Transit Education

* Total project value (UTCM funds + leveraged funds)

Transit Management Certificate Program

Linda Cherrington - $121,000 ($75,000+$46,000)*

A successful Transit Management Certificate Program can provide the leadership training needed for the current generation of public transportation managers in rural and small urban areas in Texas and the academic preparation needed to attract career professionals into the industry in the future. This project is undertaking the following tasks: (1) Review the national transit certificate programs to identify best practices and lessons learned. (2) Identify the most important elements of a successful certificate program. Project members will confer with academic departments and schools at Texas A&M University, TxDOT’s Public Transportation Division and transit agency representatives to gain a variety of perspectives. (3) Develop the Transit Management Certificate Program in cooperation with TxDOT, stakeholders, and the academic departments and schools. (4) Seek approval from all appropriate cognizant agencies and academic departments. (5) Facilitate delivery of the first offerings for the Transit Management Certificate Program. (6) Together with academic advisors, determine opportunities to expand the certificate program to other Texas A&M affiliated universities or community colleges that may be more geographically accessible to rural and small urban transit.

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A Special Topics Course on Intelligent Transportation Systems for the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering of Texas A&M University

Kevin Balke - $64,260 ($47,421+$16,839)*

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) blend emerging detection/surveillance, communications, and computer technologies with transportation management and control concepts to improve the safety and mobility of the surface transportation system, including transit. Individuals responsible for developing, deploying, and managing ITS projects need a solid foundation not only in transportation engineering concepts and principles but also systems engineering, communications, and technology. This project developed a special topics graduate-level survey course on the planning, design, and implementation of ITS projects for transportation management. This course teaches the concepts to plan, design, and implement an ITS project that can be deployed in the field. Course topics include: an overview of ITS technologies and applications for advanced transportation management; the application of system engineering concepts in the planning and design of advanced ITS projects; techniques and strategies for managing and deploying ITS projects; design and application of advanced telecommunication techniques for ITS deployments; and techniques and tools for evaluating ITS projects and technologies. The curriculum includes a review of the nine federal ITS initiatives, including the transit initiative Mobility Services for All Americans.

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UTCM Transit Technology Transfer

* Total project value (UTCM funds + leveraged funds)

MDC and Driver

Facilitating Creation of Rural Transit System Technology User Groups

Suzie Edrington - $45,487 ($36,000+$9,487)*

Technology to support rural and small urban dispatch transit operations has advanced in recent years, incorporating automated dispatch/scheduling software, mobile data computers (MDCs) and automated vehicle location (AVL) systems. However, cost as well as staff expertise required to run these systems sometimes delay their implementation. Two major pieces of federal legislation have helped address the cost issue, providing transit agencies financial assistance for capital purchases – the 2005 Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), and the 2009 American Rehabilitation and Recovery Act (ARRA). Many of the agencies in Texas have been able to purchase some or all of the technologies with help from SAFETEA-LU and ARRA, but they may not know how to put it to best use, or how best to support their staff in the transition from manual to electronic systems. This project is helping Texas’ rural and small urban transit agencies gain expertise to exploit these technologies. Researchers completed an inventory of the specific technologies in use by agencies across Texas and shared this information with the transit districts. The research team then hosted a panel discussion on technology implementation at TxDOT’s semi-annual Transit Providers Meeting in the summer of 2010. Since then, building on the UTCM’s Transit Leadership project, transit agencies have establish informal peer groups to exchange experiences in implementing technology.

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Regional Coordination Workshop

John Overman - $77,820 ($72,820+$5,000)*

There is a demonstrated need for outreach, education, training and technology transfer to public transportation providers, rural transit districts, mobility managers, councils of governments and staff involved in regional human service transit coordination. This project addresses those needs by providing training and technology transfer based on recent research efforts at various institutions to improve regional coordination and transit services. The Regional Coordination Workshop served as the venue to deliver the workshops in themed learning tracks. High priority workshop topics include: partnership development, marketing techniques, public involvement, and information technology applications. The Regional Coordination Workshop was held on July 23 and 24, 2008 at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark in Austin, Texas and attended by 172 participants from a variety of agencies and organizations involved in regional human service transit coordination. Regional Coordination Workshop materials and presentations can be found on the Regional Service Planning website (

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Transit Leadership Initiative

Linda Cherrington - $52,000 ($27,000+$25,000)*

The purpose of this project is to research and develop a leadership development program that addresses the needs of rural and small urban transit managers at each stage of a career along a continuum. The continuum begins with new employees just entering the industry who need professional development. This project provides these new employees exposure to the industry and focuses on transit manager internship opportunities. The continuum extends to senior staff members who are anticipating retirement and require leadership development to focus on leaving a legacy, succession planning, and mentoring. This project provides the necessary foundation to define all elements of the leadership program with support from industry participants. This project will then identify a sponsor for implementation. The project goal is to establish a leadership development program that has value to the industry and can be sustainable. This project involves the collaborative efforts of Texas Transportation Institute’s Transit Mobility Program and the Texas Department of Transportation, Public Transportation Division (TxDOT-PTN).

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Transportation Funding Options Website on Transit

The Guide to Transportation Funding Options includes a review of all modes, including transit. The guide can be accessed at

A Guide to Transportation Funding Options (Phase 1 and Phase 2)

Tina Geiselbrecht - Phase 1: $20,000; Phase 2: $32,300

As our nation’s transportation demand continues to grow due to population increases and an expanded economy, elected officials at all levels of government are faced with difficult decisions regarding mechanisms to adequately fund the maintenance and expansion of transportation systems. This project produced a concise, user-friendly website for leaders and policy-makers that describes the array of transportation funding options that are or may be available for use throughout the country. The site describes each funding option and, where possible, offers links to projects that are using or have utilized a particular type of funding. Phase 1 of the project included data on funding for highways; Phase 2 expanded the site to transit, rail and aviation.

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UTCM, SWUTC Graduate Students Meet with RITA Administrator Peter Appel

Peter Appel and Students

Peter Appel listens to UTCM and SWUTC graduate students as they overview their research topics and experience.

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During Peter Appel’s Feb. 18 visit to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the Southwest Region University Transportation Center (SWUTC) and the UTCM, it was easy to see what motivates the Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).

"One of my passions is to get people in different aspects of transportation talking to each other and realizing shared areas of interest," Appel said at a luncheon with nearly two dozen UTCM and SWUTC graduate students pursuing transportation-related careers. The students, from a variety of disciplines across Texas A&M University, the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and Texas Southern University, represented some of the best and brightest in the SWUTC and UTCM programs.

Appel was appointed RITA administrator in 2009 and coordinates the US DOT’s research, education and technology transfer programs, including the University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program. TTI is home to SWUTC and UTCM − two of the nation’s 60 UTCs − and Appel traveled to Texas to visit these facilities and people firsthand.

Appel’s tour of TTI, UTCM and SWUTC included viewing a crash test at TTI’s Riverside Campus, and a ride in the Institute’s instrumented vehicle designed for human factors research. But he especially enjoyed the chance to visit directly with the graduate students over lunch.

Student Bios Booklet

More information on the students and their research may be found in the booklet produced for the luncheon PDF document - For best results, view PDF files with the most recent version of Adobe Reader [3.5M, 24 pages].

"Students are the ultimate payoff," SWUTC Director Dock Burke told Appel about the UTC program’s impact. UTCM Director Melissa Tooley agrees. "From enhancements to the research that goes into TTI’s Urban Mobility Report to UTCM’s leading role in the discussion on mileage-based user fees, funding from RITA has helped establish ongoing initiatives that are making a difference in solving transportation problems," she told Appel. "And our students are on the front lines of the research that goes into these initiatives. Their UTC experiences develop their expertise, and they leave our programs uniquely prepared to address current transportation issues."

During the luncheon, each student briefed the Administrator on his or her research topic and experience. Many students also asked questions regarding DOT priorities and initiatives in their research areas.

Appel in turn encouraged the students to pursue the Presidential Management Fellows Program in he U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which offers internships with DOT and other federal agencies. "This program successfully prepares transportation students for federal careers, and placement after completing the program is very high," he noted. "And we need you," said Appel. "You are going to solve the transportation problems we face today. Not me and my generation − you."

Peter Appel and Students

Twenty-three graduate students from Texas A&M University (TAMU), The Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) and Texas Southern University (TSU) attended a luncheon with RITA Administrator Peter Appel during his visit to the UTCM and SWUTC. In attendance were (front row) Wenhao Li, Jian Shen, Yao Xing, Pei-Fen Kuo, Kristin Wallin (all of TAMU), Yasamin Salehi (TSU) and Jeremy Cross (TAMU), (back row) Megan Morales (TAMHSC), Shain Eversley (TSU), James Stafford (TAMHSC), Sara Land (TSU), Chung-Wei Shen and Jonathan Brooks (TAMU), Fei Tao (TSU), Peter Appel (RITA), Paul Fagin, Brian Shollar, Shailesh Chandra, Kai Yin, Jason Wagner, Nocolas Norboge, Philip Lasley, Ben Sperry and Wei Lu (all of TAMU).

More information on the students and their research may be found in the booklet PDF document - For best results, view PDF files with the most recent version of Adobe Reader [3.5M, 24 pages] produced for the luncheon.

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Website to Outline Strategies in Use for Active Traffic Management

Laura Higgins

UTCM Researcher Laura Higgins

Project Title: "Express Buses Improving the
Options for Getting from Here to There"

Principal Investigator: Laura Higgins (Associate Research Scientist, Human Factors Group, Texas Transportation Institute)

Sixty years ago, if you took a trip, you were likely to board a bus or a train. But in the last half century, those modes have been eclipsed by the convenience of cars and commercial airplanes. And as demand continues to grow, many roads and air routes will not be able to keep up.

"In the coming years, we will see some major ground and air travel corridors in the U.S. exceeding their capacity," says Laura Higgins, Associate Research Scientist at Texas Transportation Institute. "That means we need to find more ways to move people and goods efficiently between cities and across regions."

Higgins recently completed a UTCM study examining one method to meet the growing need for more transportation options. "Intercity bus service is a growing transit market for the first time in decades," she says. That’s due in large part to the emergence of express intercity bus services like Megabus (covering states from Minnesota to North Carolina to Maine) and the Northeast's BoltBus that provide nonstop or limited-stop service between city pairs at low prices.


BoltBus, a division of Greyhound, specializes in lower-cost fares and guaranteed seats while offering WiFi and power outlets. Buses connect Baltimore, Boston, New York, Newark, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

Higgins’s research shows that both passenger rail and express bus service have the potential to shift some travel demand from highway and air travel corridors that are projected to reach or exceed capacity during the next 40 years. In addition, they may help to satisfy what is likely to be a growing need for transportation service in less populated areas.

These alternative transit modes are exploring ways to make transit more accessible and appealing to a wider market. Intermodal connections, fare and schedule coordination, frequent and on-time service, targeted marketing, and onboard amenities are some of the strategies being employed to attract travelers who might otherwise select other modes. Some rural providers are beginning to add fixed routes to connect population centers within a region, both to attract commuters to transit service and to accommodate larger numbers of elderly and disabled riders needing transportation to medical appointments.

The trend toward express routes in intercity transit is likely to produce more frequent and on-
time service between major cities, and to increase the number of people choosing to ride
transit for intercity trips. The trade-off will be an increased need for intermodal and park-
and-ride facilities at intercity transit stops, as well as for local transit to provide connecting
service to the intercity system, whether that system is express bus or passenger rail.

More information this project, including the final report, is available here.

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Cherrington Invited to Present Blue Ribbon Lecture in RITA’s Transportation Innovation Series

Linda Cherrington

UTCM Researcher Linda Cherrington

UTCM Researcher Linda Cherrington has been invited to present a Blue Ribbon Lecture in the DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Transportation Innovation Series. The presentation, entitled "Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Transit in America," will be held on August 17, 2011 at the US DOT Headquarters in Washington, DC.

As rural transit increases in importance due to changes in demographic trends, resources to provide services as well as to research service improvements remain limited. Therefore, rural transit providers are called upon to plan strategically to improve service efficiency and effectiveness.

The purpose of the presentation for the RITA Transportation Innovation Series will be to draw from the broad experience of UTCM researchers to provide a strategic look at the challenges and opportunities for rural transit in America.

Linda Cherrington is Program Manager of the Transit Mobility Program at the Texas Transportation Institute. Since 2003, Ms. Cherrington has been a moving force behind the Texas initiatives to improve performance for rural and small urban transit and to advance the concepts of regional transportation coordination. In her UTCM research, she works directly with rural transit districts to analyze transit needs and changes in demographics to develop local initiatives to expand and improve public transportation.

Ms. Cherrington conducted research to identify the impacts of Census 2010 on state and federal funding for rural transit in Texas. She represents TTI on the research teams for several national TRB research projects addressing performance measures for transit. Ms. Cherrington is currently the principal investigator for Federal Transit Administration research to identify Rural Transit Livability Performance Measures.

Hosted by the DOT RITA, The Transportation Innovation Series is a strategic outreach effort designed to stimulate dialogue among transportation professionals about current and emerging transportation issues facing our nation. Topics address current US DOT strategic goals, including: safety, state of good repair, environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness, livable communities and organizational excellence.

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UTCM Technology Transfer Activities

2011 Mileage Based User Fees Symposium

June 13-14, 2011
Breckenridge, Colorado

The UTCM has been a leading sponsor of this annual symposium that brings together professionals in the field of road user fees to share information and advance the discussion of road user-based fees. Representatives from past, current and upcoming pilot studies and implementations will present lessons learned and key study topics from their projects. Panel discussions will address specific topics such as legislative and policy issues, public acceptance challenges, potential technology applications, and institutional issues. The symposium will incorporate interactive discussion sessions on logical next steps as well as the associated challenges and opportunities. Registration and other information about this conference is available by clicking on the logo above.

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Livability Conference

September 7-8, 2011
Austin, Texas

Appropriate performance measures for transportation and livability are critical to meeting federal, state, and local goals and objectives. This conference will address the current state-of-the-practice with performance measures for transportation and livable communities in urban, suburban, exurban, and rural areas. Current research, projects and initiatives will be highlighted and future research needs will be discussed. The two-day conference will include keynote speakers, plenary sessions, breakout sessions, and poster presentations on topics related to performance measures for transportation and livable communities. The conference will help advance research in the field of livability performance measures and help state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, transit agencies, and other groups to develop and use appropriate performance measures that address transportation and livability goals. Registration and other information about this conference is available by clicking on the logo at left.

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UTCM Completed Projects (since 02.01.11)

More information and final reports on these and other completed projects can be found on the maing menu (top left) under Projects: Completed Projects.

* Total project value (UTCM funds + leveraged funds)


"Impacts of Funding and Allocation Changes on Rural Transit in Texas"
Suzie Edrington • 01.01.10 - 02.28.11 • $75,000 ($65,000+$10,000)*

"Development of a Short-Term Prediction Model for Commercial Vehicle Crossing Times"
Rajat Rajbhandari and Don Kang • 11.01.09 - 03.31.11 • $86,000 ($53,500+$32,500)*

"Best Practices and Outreach for Active Traffic Management"
Beverly Kuhn • 01.01.10 - 4.30.11 • $122,000

"Examining Challenges, Opportunities and Best Practices for Addressing Rural Mobility and Economic Development under SAFETEA-LU’s Coordinated Planning and Human Services Framework"
June Martin, Cecelia Giusti, Eric Dumbaugh and Linda Cherrington • 05.01.08 - 05.31.11 • $168,480 ($100,000+$68,480)*

"Evaluating the Use of Transfers for Improving Rural Public Transportation Systems"
Luca Quadrifoglio and Suzie Edrington • 01.01.10 - 05.31.11 • $122,690 ($80,000+$42,690)*


"A New Graduate Course in Transportation Infrastructure Finance in the Civil Engineering Department at Texas A&M University"
Ivan Damnjanovic, Sharada Vadali and Erin McTigue • 01.01.10 - 02.28.11 • $65,820 ($60,000+$5,820)*

"Transit Management Certificate Program"
Linda Cherrington and Ben Welch • 01.01.10 - 05.31.11 • $121,000 ($75,000+$46,000)*


"Facilitating Outreach Programs for Minority Students in Rural South Texas"
Deborah Jasek • 01.01.09 - 02.28.11 • $137,274 ($29,000+$108,274)*

"Transportation Plan Repository and Archive"
John Overman and Sandra Tucker • 01.01.10 - 2.28.11 • $48,233 ($45,000+$3,233)*

"The Transportation Economy: Past & Future"
Richard Cole and David Dennis • 01.01.09 - 05.31.11 • $87,595 ($50,000+$37,595)*

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UTCM Highlights

Peter Appel and Students

Suzie Edrington receives her Student of the Year Award from CUTC President Steve Albert and RITA Administrator Peter Appel.


January 22

Suzie Edrington is named UTCM Outstanding Student of the Year at the annual Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Awards Banquet. Suzie is an Assistant Research Scientist with TTI’s Transit Mobility Program and a December 2010 graduate of the Masters of Urban Planning Program at Texas A&M University.

January 23-27

Eleven presentations on UTCM research are made at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Washington, DC. Additionally, two UTCM researchers preside over sessions relating to their UTCM research.

Peter Appel and Students

Melissa Tooley is awarded ARTBA's prestigious S. S. Steinberg Award by Teresa Adams, a Member of the Board of ARTBA's Research and Education Division.

January 24

UTCM Director Melissa Tooley is awarded the prestigious 2010 S. S. Steinberg Award by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

January 31

Ten new UTCM projects commence, including six research and four technology transfer initiatives. Four research projects conclude. One final report on a technology transfer project is published.

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February 4

The University of California - Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies invites UTCM Researcher Dr. Luca Quadrifoglio to present a lecture entitled “The Zoning Paratransit System with Transfers: Formulation, Optimization and Heuristic.”

Peter Appel and Students

February 18

RITA Administrator Peter Appel visits the Texas Transportation Institute and its two UTCs: the UTCM and the Southwest Region University Transportation Center (SWUTC). (See related article above.)

February 28

Four UTCM projects conclude, including one research project, one education project and two technology transfer initiatives. One final report on a research project is published.

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MARCH 2011

Peter Appel and Students

March 5

Creekview High School in Carrollton, TX hosts TDS Fest, a Teens in the Driver Seat® event celebrating the accomplishment of driving down the teen crash fatality rate in Texas while remembering those who have lost their lives in this epidemic. The event is coordinated by UTCM Researcher Russell Henk and teens on the UTCM-sponsored Teens in the Driver Seat® Teen Advisory Board.

March 31

One new UTCM research project commences, and one research project concludes. Final reports for three UTCM research projects are published.

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APRIL 2011

April 21

Martha Raney Taylor attends a benefit luncheon for the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Prairie View A&M University. The event, “Meeting the Infrastructure Needs of the Houston Area for Growth and Prosperity,” features three Houston officials: City Director of Public Works Dan Krueger, City Airport System Chief Development Officer Eric Potts, and Port of Houston Authority Executive Director Alec Dreyer. Proceeds aid the department and provide scholarships.

April 27

Region 6 UTCs meet in New Orleans to discuss collaborative opportunities. Joining UTCM Center Director Melissa Tooley and Executive Committee Chair Herb Richardson are staff from the Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency (GCRCETR), the Southwest Region University Transportation Center (SWUTC), the Mack Blackwell Rural Transportation Center (MBTC), and the Oklahoma Transportation Center (OkTC). Amy Stearns represents USDOT RITA.

Peter Appel and Students

Some of the participants in the Region 6 UTC meeting included (l to r) Dr. John Renne and Dr. James Amdal (GCRCETR), Amy Stearns (DOT RITA), Dr. Melissa Tooley (UTCM) and Michelle McFarland (OkTC).

April 30

One UTCM research project concludes. Final reports for one UTCM research project and two UTCM technology transfer initiatives are published.

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MUP Graduates

Spring '11 graduates earning the Transportation Planning Certificate include (l to r) Nicolas Norboge, Wenaho Li, Jonathan Brooks and (not pictured) Joshua Shane.

MAY 2011

May 13

At Texas A&M University commencement exercises, four students earn the Graduate Certificate in Transportation Planning in addition to graduate degrees. Joshua Shane, Wenhao Li and Jonathan Brooks earn Masters of Urban Planning degrees, and Nicolas Norboge earns a Master of Public Service & Administration with a concentration in Transportation Planning & Policy from the Bush School of Government & Public Service. A total of 21 certificates have been awarded since 2008.

Peter Appel and Students

May 21

Texas A&M Civil Engineering master’s student Wei Lu receives a UTCM travel grant to present a poster on his UTCM-supported research at the 2011 Industrial Engineering Research Conference in Reno, NV. The title of his presentation is “Multi-Vehicle MAST Service: Formulation and Comparison with a Single-Vehicle Case.”

May 31

Four UTCM research projects conclude, including two research projects, one educational initiative and one technology transfer initiative. One final report on a research project is published.

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