April 2016 Catalyst

April 2016
Truck drivers who fail to adhere to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea are five times more likely to be involved in serious, preventable crashes, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota Morris. The project, sponsored in part by the Roadway Safety Institute, is the largest study of sleep apnea and crash risk among commercial motor vehicle drivers to date.
Giving people more options to bike or walk to their destinations has been a high priority for transportation planners in recent years. But as the number of pedestrians and bicyclists using the transportation system increases, so does the potential for serious—or even deadly—crashes involving these high-risk road users. As part of a project sponsored by the Roadway Safety Institute, researchers are developing new methods and tools to help transportation engineers estimate bicycle and pedestrian traffic volumes and assess these nonmotorized travelers’ exposure to risk.
More than 25 percent of a typical transit agency’s bus drivers do not have regular work assignments. These reserve drivers cover work resulting from both planned and unplanned work assignment changes such as training, vacations, and driver illness. Making assignment decisions is a balancing act that requires choosing between reserve operators or regular operators receiving overtime pay. To help address this trade-off, researchers designed a new scheduling method that offers significant potential savings for transit agencies.
What physical goods can—or should—be shared, and what should be owned individually? As the answer to that question slowly changes, the direction of our transportation future is changing, too. U of M experts examined three dimensions of sharing—cars, rides, and bikes—and their emerging implications for transport. The researchers believe that in the future, ownership and possession will no longer be prerequisites for on-demand mobility. They also predict demand for new street designs that emphasize pick-up and drop-off locations rather than on-street parking.
Publication Credits 

Publisher/Director: Laurie McGinnis
Catalyst Editors: Pamela Snopl, Christine Anderson
Contributing Editors: Amy Friebe, Michael McCarthy
Designer: Angela Kronebusch
Freelance Writer: Megan Tsai