National Academies Press: OpenBook
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Suggested Citation:"Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Transit Research Analysis Committee Letter Report: August 24, 2018. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25249.
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August 24, 2018 Vincent Valdes Associate Administrator for Research, Demonstration, and Innovation Federal Transit Administration U.S. Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590 Dear Mr. Valdes, The Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) Transit Research Analysis Committee (TRAC) met on May 31 and June 1, 2018, to learn more about the Office of Research, Demonstration, and Innovation’s (commonly abbreviated as TRI) research plans and activities, specifically the Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR) Plan. In your May 11, 2018, letter (attached) you asked TRAC to provide feedback about the STAR Plan, ideas for the use of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) framework to review the Plan, and suggestions to best implement the Plan. This letter summarizes the committee’s understanding of the TRI work and makes recommendations for the STAR Plan. As you know, TRAC consists of 12 members appointed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for their wide-ranging expertise in public transportation (see attachment for membership). The interdisciplinary committee—drawn from industry, academia, and the private and public sectors—is charged with recommending actions that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) can take to ensure that its research program is relevant, timely, and effective in meeting the diverse and changing needs of the public transportation community. TRAC’s standing charge is provided in Box 1. I thank you and your staff for seeking TRAC’s advice on the STAR Plan. Your overview of the work and the detailed briefings by Danyell Diggs, Eli Machek, Steve Mortensen, and Gwo-Wei Torng provided committee members with the necessary information for the requested feedback and advice. The meeting agenda and a list of participants are attached.

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TRB's Transit Research Analysis Committee (TRAC) has delivered a letter report to Mr. Vincent Valdes, Associate Administrator for Research, Demonstration, and Innovation, Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The August 24, 2018 report describes the committee’s understanding of the Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR) Plan and provides advice to FTA regarding this plan.

TRAC, an interdisciplinary committee of experts from industry, academia, and the private and public sectors, will examine and recommend actions FTA can take to ensure that its research and innovation program is relevant, timely, and effective in meeting the diverse and changing needs of the public transportation community.

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