July 2015 Catalyst

July 2015
A new analysis from the Accessibility Observatory has quantified how much the Green Line light-rail transit route and related changes to the regional bus network changed residents’ ability to reach jobs by transit. The study measured access to jobs in Minneapolis and St. Paul before and after the Green Line began service on June 14, 2014. Workers in St. Paul can, on average, reach over 2,000 more jobs within 30 minutes by transit than they could previously—a 5.3 percent increase. In locations near Green Line stations and connecting transit routes, accessibility often increased by over 50 percent, and in a few locations more than doubled.
With more than a billion vehicles on roads around the world, traffic congestion affects millions of people each day. It can seem inevitable, or at least too expensive and difficult to solve. TomTom, a global leader in navigation and mapping products, is challenging this conventional thinking. In its Traffic Manifesto, TomTom advocates using big data analytics and smart mobility to reduce traffic congestion for all. In the opening session of the annual CTS Transportation Research Conference, keynote speaker Ralf-Peter Schäfer described how big data is the fuel needed to reduce congestion worldwide.
In early 2016, an estimated $6.2 billion project will add a new set of locks enabling the Panama Canal to handle larger ships. This increase in capacity has triggered many expectations about its potential impacts on global trade, in particular for ports on the American East Coast. The common belief is that the expansion will bring additional traffic and economic opportunities—but many experts disagree. In the luncheon session of the CTS Transportation Research Conference, Hofstra University professor Jean-Paul Rodrigue outlined the controversy surrounding this multi-billion dollar transportation project.
Researchers and practitioners interested in transportation safety gathered in St. Paul on May 21 for the Roadway Safety Showcase: Safety Innovations for Today and Tomorrow, a one-day event held in conjunction with the CTS Transportation Research Conference. The showcase highlighted the latest work by researchers from the Roadway Safety Institute, the Region 5 University Transportation Center led by the University of Minnesota. Institute researchers are developing solutions for some of today’s most pressing safety problems.
Publication Credits 

Publisher/Director: Laurie McGinnis
Managing Editor: Pamela Snopl
Editors: Christine Anderson, Amy Friebe, Michael McCarthy
Designer: Angela Kronebusch
Freelance Writer: Megan Tsai
Student Interns: Jamie Hulkonen, Ari Newman