September 2012 Catalyst

September 2012
When the summer began, Samrakshak Lamichhane wasn’t certain what a typical work day might look like after graduation. But thanks to a new internship program, Lamichhane and three other undergraduates got a taste of real-world operations and gained insight for their future career paths. The eight-week Summer Transportation Internship Program was developed in partnership by CTS, the Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute, Howard University, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Its purpose was to provide an opportunity for students to gain professional experience and skills that will complement their academic pursuits.
A driver-assist system (DAS) developed by the Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute is improving bus operations and reducing driver stress on bus-only shoulders in the Twin Cities, according to an evaluation published by the Federal Transit Administration. The DAS has been in use on 10 Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) buses operating in the Cedar Avenue bus rapid transit corridor since 2010 and is the first deployed system of its kind. The FTA evaluation measured the performance of the system in six areas, including efficiency/productivity, rider satisfaction, and driver satisfaction.
In an effort to understand why consumers drive to certain places to do their shopping, researchers from the Department of Civil Engineering (CE) have completed a study examining the influence of land-use patterns and transportation networks on travel behavior. The study, led by CE associate professor David Levinson, aimed to identify factors that make destinations more or less attractive to consumers for home-based shopping trips.
University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students are contributing their expertise to a federally funded plan to kick-start central Minnesota's economy and sustainable housing and transportation efforts. Spearheaded by the U of M’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships program and the Region Five Development Commission, the project—the Central Minnesota Sustainable Development Regional Plan, or "Resilient Region” plan—taps experts from throughout the University while relying on the guidance and input of more than 600 Minnesotans from five counties.
Publication Credits 

Publisher/DirectorLaurie McGinnis

Managing EditorPamela Snopl

EditorsChristine Anderson, Amy Friebe, Michael McCarthy

DesignerCadie Adhikary

Student InternsKristin Havercamp, Nicola Losik