NITC researchers have tested a method of collecting transportation behavior data using a smartphone app, with promising results.
The process could save transit agencies “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says lead researcher Christopher Bone, and give them access to comprehensive, real-time data about their ridership, all without compromising passengers’ privacy.
Christopher Bone, Marc Schlossberg, Ken Kato, Jacob Bartruff and Seth Kenbeek of the University of Oregon designed a custom mobile application, which allows passengers to volunteer information about their travel habits, and recruited passengers to use it in a test case.
Their report, “Crowdsourcing the Collection of Transportation Behavior Data,” was released this month.
Participants were asked to use the app for three weeks on Lane Transit District’s EmX bus line located in the Eugene-Springfield area in western Oregon. Researchers placed sensors on the buses and at stops to detect when someone using the app was boarding. When a user came within range of a sensor, they...Read more
Sunday, the first day of the Transportation Research Board annual meeting in Washington, D.C., is workshop day. Portland State University doctoral student Tara Goddard presents in a showcase of research stemming from the prestigious Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship program.
Goddard probed the question of why so many bicyclists die in traffic crashes. Cyclists are 12 times more likely to be killed in a crash than a driver or passenger in a car. She wondered what role drivers' attitudes toward cyclists might play.
Goddard's research uses a survey to measure drivers' attitudes and self-reported behaviors and to test drivers' implicit attitudes toward both other drivers and cyclists. She pairs the survey piece with a lab experiment that uses hazard-perception video clips to examine whether drivers notice cyclists.
By this approach, Goddard hopes to understand drivers' attitudes and whether those attitudes can predict how they act on the road. That understanding can potentially lead to steps to improve cyclist safety. Her workshop runs 9 a.m. to noon in Room 202B of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Disaster recovery workshopRead more
Traffic congestion on urban roadways can influence operating costs and cause travel delays.
Portland State University master’s students Nicholas Stoll and Travis Glick will present a paper introducing solutions for locating the sources of congestion at the 2016 annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.
With their faculty advisor, Miguel Figliozzi, Stoll and Glick looked into using bus GPS data to identify congestion hot spots.
By using high-resolution GPS data to visualize trends in bus behavior and movement, the researchers were able to examine the sources of delay on urban arterials.
These visualizations, which can be in the form of heat maps or speed plots like the one shown here on the right (an application of numerical method applied to a 2,000 ft segment of SE Powell), can be used by transportation agencies to identify locations where improvements are needed. For example, adding a queue jump lane at a congested intersection can improve flow.
The researchers used fine-grained bus data provided by TriMet to create the visualizations. Buses have been used as probes to estimate travel times before, but with...Read more
Last year, we reported on a Portland State University graduate student project that created a tailored transit solution for the Salem-Keizer area.
This year, the flexible transit system created by students in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program has become a reality.
The West Salem Connector service launched as a year-long pilot program on June 1.
The new service, which focuses on improving transit access for those who actually use it in low-demand areas, will be free for the first six months.
Students in the MURP program spend about five months completing workshop projects, which focus on real-world planning problems and see them through. Not every student project, however, makes it to the stage of implementation.
The fact that the Salem-Keizer flexible transit line is becoming a reality reflects the quality of this group's work.
The Paradigm Planning group consisted of MURP students Darwin Moosavi, Brenda Martin, Matt Berggren, Lauren Wirtis, Mike Sellinger and CJ Doxsee. The project, ...Read more
A new study led by Miguel Figliozzi of Portland State University provides a microscopic evaluation of how two advanced traffic control technologies work together.
Powell Boulevard, an east-west arterial corridor in southeast Portland, Oregon, has been the focus of several research studies by Figliozzi’s TTP research lab. The street is a key route for public transit buses as well as pedestrians and cars, but heavy traffic at peak hours often results in delays.
On Powell there are two systems operating concurrently: a demand-responsive traffic signal system called Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) and a Transit Signal Priority (TSP) system. The TSP in the Portland metro region is designed to give priority to late buses and to boost transit performance.
In previous studies Figliozzi’s lab has analyzed a multitude of factors on Powell Boulevard including traffic congestion, transit times, air quality and cyclists’ intake of air pollutants, and a before/after evaluation of SCATS.
For this study, the researchers used a novel approach to evaluate how well SCATS and TSP work together by integrating three major data sources and video recordings at individual intersections.
Figliozzi’s team worked closely with TriMet and the City of Portland to...Read more
The Federal Transit Administration has announced a $945,000 grant for a Portland State University project to help transportation agencies respond to regional emergencies. The project is led by TREC, with partners TriMet, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Metro.
The announcement came as part of $29 million in grants through the FTA’s Innovative Safety, Resiliency, and All-Hazards Emergency Response and Recovery Demonstration program. The grants will help transit agencies improve safety, better withstand natural disasters, and respond more effectively to emergencies. A list of selected projects is available online.
The TREC project will develop and test a transportation demand management system that uses social media and intelligent transportation systems for large-scale emergency response and recovery. While managing demand is a cornerstone of campaigns to reduce private vehicle trips, it is often absent from emergency recovery plans, said project lead John MacArthur of TREC.
“This looks at how transit can be a reliable backbone to keep a city functioning,” MacArthur said. “That means during the response period, but also during recovery, which can last a long time.”
Agency partners expressed enthusiasm for the collaborative approach to an issue they all face.
“TriMet provides shelter buses for small-scale...Read more
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