February 2016 Catalyst

February 2016
In August 2013, all transportation-eligible Minneapolis high school students began using public transportation instead of yellow school buses under the Go-To Student Pass Program. The program enables students to take unlimited rides on regular-route buses and light rail from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily during the school year. A just-released analysis of the program by U of M researchers documents a range of benefits—from better student attendance to financial savings to reduced vehicle mileage and emissions.
Moving freight accounts for more than a third of the world’s transport energy—and that share is growing. The rise in global trade, online retailing, and business-to-business delivery is not only changing how goods are moved but also the type of goods moved and how far or frequently they are transported. Currently, this massive movement of goods throughout the economy relies on an intricate—and largely decentralized—multimodal network, but change is on the horizon. A study by U of M experts outlines the important impacts these changes will have on the road network and transportation infrastructure.
With early warning about traffic delays ahead of them, highway drivers can adjust their speeds to keep traffic flowing smoothly and avoid dangerous sudden stops that often result in rear-end crashes. As part of a national effort, researchers at the U of M’s Minnesota Traffic Observatory are working to establish a testbed for developing and testing connected vehicle technologies and applications, including speed harmonization and queue warning.
In coming years, bus rapid transit (BRT) will play a growing role in the Twin Cities transit system. One of the drivers behind the transitway build-out is to increase employment access by transit. In a recent project funded by the Transitway Impacts Research Program, U of M researchers compared job-change rates around dedicated BRT, arterial BRT, and light-rail transit corridors before and after implementation in 15 regions around the nation. They found that job growth varies among the different transitway modes and by job sector and wage.
Publication Credits 

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