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Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-1 A P P E N D I X E Twenty-Five Research Needs Statements for Panel Ranking
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-2 Draft Research Needs Statements for NCHRP 20-122 Project Panel Review and Ranking â¢ RNS1: Bridge and Culvert Vulnerability Assessment Software Suite â¢ RNS2: Effectiveness of Zero-Tolerance Drug & Alcohol Policies for Rural Transportation Agencies â¢ RNS3: Force Multiplier Toolkit for Rural Traffic Safety Enforcement â¢ RNS4: Trade-off Analysis: A Multi-Modal Guide for Rural Transportation Investment Analysis â¢ RNS5: Modern Approaches to Ride Hailing Services for Rural Communities â¢ RNS6: Cumulative Effects of Investment in Rural Transportation â¢ RNS7: Simplified Centerline Marking for Two-lane Paved Rural Highways â¢ RNS8: Winter Maintenance of Unpaved Roads: Existing Practices â¢ RNS9: Traffic Impacts of Energy Development on Rural Roadways â¢ RNS10: Structural & Seismic Risks to Rural Roads and Bridges in Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction Areas â¢ RNS11: Rural Transit Funding Policy Review â¢ RNS12: Innovative Revenue Sources for Rural Transit Systems â¢ RNS13: Autonomous Vehicles and the Non-Driving Functions of Rural Public Transit Operators â¢ RNS14: Making the Rural to Urban Transit Transition â¢ RNS15: Human Trafficking Intervention Guide for Rural and Tribal Transportation Agencies â¢ RNS16: Trends and Characteristics of Distracted Driving Crashes on Rural âNon-Occupantsâ â¢ RNS17: Bouncing Back from Natural Disasters in Tourism-Dependent Rural Communities â¢ RNS18: Overcoming Smartphone-Related Barriers to Ride Hailing and Public Transportation for Elderly â¢ RNS19: Effects in Rural Areas of Generational Changes in Obtaining Driverâs Licenses â¢ RNS20: Exploring the Value of Passenger Rail Service in Rural Network Access â¢ RNS21: Accessing Americaâs Great Outdoors: Understanding Recreational Travel Patterns, Demand, and Future Investment Needs for Federal and State Transportation Systems â¢ RNS22: MIRE Data Requirements Supporting Safety Improvements on Unpaved Roads â¢ RNS23: Development and Implementation of a National Intercity Bus Atlas â¢ RNS 24: Innovative Business Models for Rural Intercity Passenger Transportation â¢ RNS25: Development and Implementation of Multi-Modal Trip Planning and Booking, Merging Fixed- Route to Demand-Response Services
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-3 RNS1: Bridge and Culvert Vulnerability Assessment Software Suite In recent years, flood frequencies and stormwater volumes have increased in most parts of the U.S. (Mallakpour and Villarini 2015, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2016). Many rural transportation agenciesâparticularly those at lower elevations near major riversâhave already experienced multiple bridge and culvert failures, and these agencies report that the resulting repair and replacement costs are substantial. When flooding damages rural infrastructure in locations without alternate routes, residents, businesses, first responders, and social service providers must often use long detours, which can result in significant social, economic, and health impacts. In some cases, communities and rural resources have been cut off entirely. For example, in 2017 and early 2018 the iconic community of Big Sur, California was cut in half for more than a year by a bridge failure triggered by storm-related landslides. Similarly, in December 2016 flooding washed out access to the Gila Cliffs National Monument in New Mexico. A critical issue is that many rural bridges and culverts were designed based on stormwater volume estimates that are no longer reliable due to climate change (Bhatkoti et. al. 2016). Affected agencies have identified numerous sources of error, including increasingly intense precipitation, earlier spring snow melt, outdated estimates of runoff from impervious upstream areas, and prior non-use of scientific hydraulic design principles. In some cases, replacement of one flood-damaged structure can reveal downstream bottlenecks during subsequent flood events. Recent state and federal efforts have improved floodplain mapping for several parts of the United States, but these maps reflect existing land use and precipitation conditions. Separately, climatological models have been developed to predict future increases in rainfall intensity. To date, there have been very few attempts to combine the two data sets to predict future changes in floodplain boundaries (Plumer 2018). Numerous rural counties and municipalities have expressed an immediate need for a low-cost tool to help identify and resolve existing and future hydraulic capacity issues. Since the typical design life for highways and bridges is 20 to 50 years, the ideal tool would be capable of predicting floodplain locations well into the future. Research Objective The objective of this research is to combine floodplain mapping and climate prediction models into a suite of tools that will allow state, county, and municipal agencies to identify and redesign vulnerable bridges, culverts, and other transportation infrastructure. This information is necessary to redesign riparian structures so that they will remain serviceable throughout their design life (which is typically 50 years or more). While existing maps provide floodplain, information based on the existing land use and climate, the tool could additionally incorporate information about changes in land use and precipitation to help agencies assess long-term changes in floodplain locations. To achieve this objective, the proposed software suite will assist agencies by: â¢ Managing a database of riparian structures such as bridges, culverts, fords, and low-water crossings (including structures on highways, railways, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, etc.). â¢ Assimilating hydraulic capacity estimates for existing structures, such as data from lidar scans and as- built plans. â¢ Interfacing with available terrain maps, hydrological databases, and climatological models to provide long-term estimates of future stormwater flows (including flow changes attributable to future increases in precipitation intensity) with indicators of the uncertainty of estimation. â¢ Identifying vulnerable structures at roughly a countywide scale. â¢ Modelling the upstream and downstream effects of stormwater management scenarios such as bridge and culvert enlargements and the addition of retention basins and overflow structures. â¢ Interfacing with soils data to identify areas potentially subject to undermining by floodwater.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-4 Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The management of bridges and culverts is a core business activity for nearly all transportation infrastructure agencies. These assets typically have a useful life of 50 years or more. Currently these structures are positioned and sized based on floodplain maps prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or state natural resource agencies, but these boundaries are based on existing precipitation and land use. Changes in rainfall intensity and land development over the next 50 years will alter these boundaries. The research addresses an immediate need to identify and redesign vulnerable bridges, culverts, and other riparian structures based on future floodplain boundaries. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-5 RNS2: Effectiveness of Zero-Tolerance Drug & Alcohol Policies for Rural Transportation Agencies Research Problem Statement All public transit agencies that receive federal funding are currently required to enforce zero-tolerance policies for employee use of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine, and opioids. Many other transportation agencies such as state DOTs, county highway departments, and municipal public works agencies, have implemented similar policies. Typically, these policies include random breath testing for alcohol intoxication and urine testing for marijuana and illicit drugs. While the required screening rates differ by mode, many transit agencies have a similar protocol, a random sample of at least 25% of the workforce must be tested for drugs on a random date at least once annually; the screening rate for alcohol testing is 10% (US DOT 2018). Since the probability that an employee will not be screened (or will not be on duty on the screening date) is considerable, the effectiveness of these protocols in deterring drug and alcohol use is uncertain. A key distinction can be drawn between the alcohol test (which looks for signs of acute intoxication) and the marijuana and drug tests (which look for any detectible level of metabolites). This distinction is increasingly important as a result of marijuana legalization: an employee could use marijuana legally during off-duty hours or a vacation yet face sanctions for a positive metabolite test long after the intoxicating effects have diminished. A further complication is that recent research indicates that chemical tests assessing blood tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels are not reliable predictors of acute marijuana intoxication (Logan, Kacinko et al. 2016). As of June 2018, recreational marijuana/cannabis had been legalized in 9 states, which together represent 21% of the U.S. population (Robinson, Berke et al. 2018, U.S. Census Bureau 2018). With recent public opinion polling showing that approximately 60% of Americans favor legalization (Geiger 2018), it appears likely that additional states will enact lenient marijuana laws in the future. Consumption of smokable and smokeless cannabis products appears to be rising (SAMSHA 2014). Rural highway and public transit agencies utilize substantial numbers of personnel in safety-critical occupations, including employees, contractors, and (in some cases) volunteers. While large agencies in metropolitan areas generally have the resources required for intensive drug screening to enforce zero- tolerance policies, this is not always the case in small rural agencies. With lean staffing, an agency may face substantial operational problems if the number of available personnel is insufficient. As a result, front- line supervisors in rural agencies can face substantial pressure to turn a blind eye to suspected policy violations, especially if the violations are perceived to be âminor.â While marijuana use by agency personnel during working hours is unquestionably problematic, some states have existing statutes that prohibit employment discrimination based on the off premises use of lawful products during nonworking hours. Additionally, many rural transportation personnel are deployed in remote locations where face-to-face contact with supervisory personnel is limited. Some rural public transportation strategies rely on volunteer drivers who are not motivated by the same factors or subject to the same regulations as paid employees. Thus, proving marijuana intoxication and consistently enforcing marijuana policies presents a very complex set of policy issues for transportation agencies. Research Objective A fundamental assumption of existing employee drug use policies is that random drug and alcohol screening (and the threat of loss of employment) is an effective deterrent to substance use. Since marijuana legalization is likely to force a reconsideration several elements of these policies, it is necessary to determine whether they are, in fact, effective in the rural transportation context. To achieve this objective the proposed research will:
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-6 â¢ Conduct confidential surveys and interviews to gather information about the prevalence of drug and alcohol use by rural transportation agency employees. â¢ Compare attitudes toward employer zero-tolerance policies at the management, supervisory, and front- line employee levels. â¢ Identify techniques used to circumvent tests and the prevalence of cheating. â¢ Assess the interaction between employee drug and alcohol use and regional substance abuse rates. â¢ Identify the extent to which rural transportation agencies employ medical officers, and the extent of their influence over employee drug/alcohol use and participation in treatment programs. â¢ Review the overall effectiveness of existing zero tolerance policies and random drug testing protocols intended to deter and detect personnel substance use in the rural transportation context. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The proposed research will be of immediate value to policy makers and rural transportation employers in understanding the effectiveness of existing zero-tolerance drug/alcohol policies, establishing the extent to which employees successfully evade tests, and developing updated policies. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-7 RNS3: Force Multiplier Toolkit for Rural Traffic Safety Enforcement Due to budget constraints, many rural counties, municipalities, and tribal governments only have a small number of law enforcement officers to cover substantial roadway mileages. For example, Lake County, California has just five deputies to patrol an area the size of Rhode Island, while Amador County usually deploys three or four deputies over 612 square miles (Chabria et al 2018). For example, some agencies in the Midwest report that it is not unusual for a rural county to have only two deputy sheriffs on duty at night to cover traffic enforcement on more than 1000 miles of roadways, along with numerous non-traffic law enforcement responsibilities (Russell 2018). Small municipalities often have only one part-time police officer. As a result of sparse enforcement, rural populations may have lower levels of perceived risk of being intercepted for violations such as speeding, driving while intoxicated, non-use of seatbelts, etc. It is likely that this perception contributes to rural injury and fatality rates. There are a few âforce multipliersâ that could lighten the burden for rural law enforcement officers (Howard, Mooren et al. 2008). Examples include: â¢ Rural traffic calming strategies to make roadways more âself-enforcing.â â¢ Volunteer programs to engage citizens in alerting law enforcement to serious traffic safety issues and remind minor offenders of the importance of behaving responsibly. â¢ Deploying a combination of highly visible and stealth patrols at randomized locations to create the impression that law enforcement could be present anywhere, at any time. â¢ Gathering âPlace of Last Drinkâ information to identify establishments that over-serve alcohol and train their servers to comply with laws regarding intoxicated patrons (such laws exist in 43 states and the District of Columbia) (NTSB 2012). â¢ Improving coordination between law enforcement agencies with neighboring or overlapping jurisdictional areas. â¢ Guaranteed ride home programs. â¢ Speed feedback signs. â¢ Automated speed enforcement (where allowed by state law). Research Objective The objective of this research is to compile and document force multiplier techniques suitable for use in rural areas with limited law enforcement resources. To accomplish this objective the proposed project will: â¢ Identify relevant force multiplier techniques. â¢ Develop a guidebook describing the techniques and their potential benefits. â¢ Assemble case examples that describe the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful deployments. â¢ Summarize the available statistical data regarding the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of various techniques. â¢ Prepare outreach and training materials to raise awareness of the force multiplier techniques, disseminate relevant information, and guide implementation at the local level. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation Staffing and budgetary shortages affect thousands of law enforcement agencies across the United States, resulting in sparse traffic enforcement in many rural areas. Wider deployment of force multiplier techniques can assist agencies in reducing common traffic violations. This is likely to improve roadway safety and allow agencies to focus the available staff on enforcing serious violations.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-8 Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-9 RNS4: Trade-off Analysis: A Multi-Modal Guide for Rural Transportation Investment Analysis Research Problem Statement Compared to urban communities, rural communities have limited resources for new transportation projects. Therefore, many resource-constrained rural communities face a crucial dilemma when making transportation investments: they cannot afford to pass up opportunities that will help grow the local economy, and they cannot afford to put money into something that does not work. According to numerous agencies that have proposed new projects, rural transportation investments can become contentious. Local newspapers document numerous controversies over roadway widenings, airport upgrades, transit service expansions, bike paths, and more. These disagreements sometimes become quite emotional. For example, an airport expansion in south-central Iowa has been hotly debated for more than 5 years (KCCI Des Moines 2013), while a similar project in north-central Wisconsin continues to affect local politics decades after its completion. The use of objective analytical tools can sometimes help avoid contentious debates by helping local decision makers understand which public investments provide the greatest overall benefit to the community. A common feature of transportation investments in rural communities is that high-stakes decisions often must be made without the use of tools that urban analysts take for granted, such as travel demand forecasting models. There is frequently a shortage of reliable data to assess facility use or ridership. If a rural agency has a small staff without specialized planning or analysis expertise, decision makers and staff often have limited experience evaluating non-highway modes. Many projects include both utilitarian and recreational elements, introducing the possibility of under-weighting some benefits and double-counting others. Major trade-offs can occur when local revenue is scarce. For example, in a rural county separate community groups might simultaneously advocate four projects that all compete for the same local revenue: lengthening a runway to accommodate larger aircraft, building a railroad siding to support industrial park expansion, replacing a deficient highway bridge, or building a bike path. Each project might have substantial benefits, yet the county might not have enough money to do everything. Broadly speaking, transportation investment decisions fall into two categories. Case I is the selection of projects within the predefined eligibility criteria of a state or federal program. Case II is the selection of projects using unrestricted funds such as local property tax revenue. In Case I, the limitations of analytical methods and assumptions generally have limited impact on the overall rating or ranking of candidate projects: the analytical shortcomings usually affect all candidates more or less equally. The importance of cross-modal consistency arises in Case II since the funding has no eligibility restrictions. For example, objectively analyzing the airport vs rail vs bridge vs bikeway decision requires a very consistent set of analytical assumptions and parameters. Most of the existing transportation investment analysis guidance is oriented toward Case I, and nearly all is mode-specific (i.e., analytical methods intended for airport projects are often completely inapplicable to rail projects). Examples of these mode-specific guidelines include aviation (U.S. Federal Aviation Administration 2019), highways (U.S Federal Highway Administration 2012, U.S Federal Highway Administration 2018) public transportation (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2002), and inland waterways (U.S._Army_Corps_of_Engineers 2009). The few existing tools that are suitable for analyzing Case II (such as (DfT 2019)) are generally very complicated, putting them beyond the technical capacity of most rural communities.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-10 Research Objective The objective of this research is to develop a rural transportation analysis guide that facilitates decision- making for unrestricted funds (including local funds used as match for state/federal aid projects). Specifically, the guide would allow economic analysis to be performed consistently for individual projects within one transportation mode, as well as across two or more modes. To address this objective the project will: â¢ Develop a consistent set of economic analysis methods that can be used with all modes. â¢ Provide resources for estimating the costs of new facilities and services consistently across modes, including sources of unbiased information to support independent estimates of capital, operating, and maintenance costs. â¢ Provide resources for evaluating project benefits consistently across modes by offering proven, simplified techniques. This includes estimating facility use/ridership consistently across modes. â¢ Provide information about how to factor in non-economic externalities such as social, health, equity, and environmental benefits (and disbenefits) of various types of transportation projects. â¢ Provide links to relevant sources for keeping analysis parameters and assumptions up to date. â¢ Discuss relevant technical issues such as situations where growth in facility utilization is not linear. â¢ Acknowledge the uncertainties inherent in rural transportation investment analysis and provide simplified risk analysis techniques (such as Monte Carlo analysis) to allow analysts to develop high, low, and most-likely-outcome scenarios that bracket the range of possible outcomes. â¢ Offer information on how to present the results of transportation analysis in a manner that is easy for elected officials and the public to understand and apply. â¢ Provide worked examples illustrating the use of modal and cross-modal analysis. â¢ Discuss case examples of applications of the methodology. â¢ Validate the recommended methodology using realistic examples reviewed by an interdisciplinary expert task group. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation Improving the technical capacity for modal and cross-modal project analysis is vital to the efficient use of scarce rural transportation funding resources. User-friendly analytical guidance will help rural decision makers to consider project options that are more likely to maximize public benefit. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-11 RNS5: Modern Approaches to Ride Hailing Services for Rural Communities Research Problem Statement Ride hailing services have continued to increase over the last several years, especially with the advent of private services such as Uber and Lyft. While these services are not as widespread in rural areas as in their urban counterparts, they have been expanding into some rural markets, and independent ride hailing companies have been formed in a few areas as well (RHIhub 2018). Ride hailing services could have several lasting benefits in rural areas including: â¢ The potential to help serve more people by meeting the mobility needs of rural residents, particularly in communities where public transportation is nonexistent or limited. In rural areas, ride hailing services could provide a viable mobility option to get rural residents to medical appointments, work, school, shopping, and even tourist destinations. The need for transportation alternatives in rural areas continues to grow as more older Americans âage in place.â â¢ Providing complementary service to public transportation through first/last mile services to a fixed route or allowing someone to take public transportation one way and ride hailing the other. For example, press reports indicate that many customers prefer to use transit to travel to shopping destinations and ride hailing to bring their purchases home. While ride hailing services and their relationships with public transit services have been studied by TCRP (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2012) for urban areas, there is a need to build on the outcomes of these urban studies and research the potential for the rural areas, addressing the unique challenges faced there. Research Objective The objective of this research is to document the current state of the practice of ride hailing in rural communities, examine modern ride hailing approaches that can be applied to rural communities, and provide forward looking (e.g., next decade) recommendations that account for the rapidly changing environment and allow rural areas to keep pace with their urban counterparts. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Explore the opportunities and challenges with ride hailing in rural areas (including integration with public transportation, potential of competing interests with public transportation (ridership, funding), volunteer networks, technology infrastructure, reliability of structure for low populations, consequences of relying on a for-profit service). â¢ Identify and document examples, benefits, and challenges associated with incorporating or coordinating ride hailing and rural transit. â¢ Identify and document examples, benefits, and challenges associated with volunteer, public, and for- profit ride hailing in rural areas. â¢ Provide recommendations on how rural ride hailing will be expected to change over the next decade. â¢ Explore the impact and potential equity for specific rural user groups (elderly, mobility impaired, cognitive limitations, low income) including, but not limited to cost and technology barriers, as well as the potential for subsidized options. â¢ Examine the economics and operational requirements of rural ride hailing to identify markets where services are, and are not, likely to emerge as privately funded alternatives to subsidized public transportation systems. â¢ Identify methods for rural communities to calculate feasibility of ride hailing in their community.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-12 Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The proposed study will assist rural public transit agencies in determining the feasibility for supporting ride hailing services in their community, determining whether to develop partnerships with existing services, modify their service offerings to operate more like a ride hailing provider, or perhaps form local ride hailing companies. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-13 RNS6: Cumulative Effects of Investment in Rural Transportation Research Problem Statement Over the past few decades, many rural transportation agencies (especially at the county and municipal levels) have experienced multi-year budget shortfalls accompanied by loss of buying power. For example, the County Engineer in Union County, Iowa reports that the nominal amount of the countyâs transportation budget has remained unchanged since the mid-1980s, while costs for labor, materials, and equipment have increased each year. Similar situations have resulted in a range of responses: â¢ Initially, rural highway departments typically responded to budget issues by delaying capital projects and eliminating non-essential services. Some examples of more recent responses include reducing winter maintenance, allowing pavement striping to wear away, and reverting paved roads to gravel. â¢ Rural law enforcement agencies have generally responded to budget shortfalls by reducing staffing, resulting in longer response times for traffic incidents and reduced enforcement of traffic safety laws. â¢ Staffing levels for rural emergency medical services providers are a key factor in incident response times. With budget-constrained staffing levels, poorer medical outcomes and increased long-term costs for motor vehicle crash victims are likely. (Gonzalez, Cummings et al. 2009, Sullivent, Faul et al. 2011, Byrne, Mann et al. 2019) â¢ Rural transit agencies have eliminated routes and shortened service hours. These responses have disproportionate impacts on elderly and low-income residents, with resulting effects on health, social wellbeing, and household income. Some of the effects of variations in investment levels can be discerned from transportation agency asset management data. For example, deferred infrastructure maintenance can hasten deterioration, resulting in the need to replace rather than repair a pavement or bridge. In these cases, short-term savings can increase long-term costs. Other effects are difficult to ascertain from internal agency data. For example, underinvestment in winter maintenance can result in crashes, traffic delays, and loss of business opportunities. These costs do not show up in agency budgets: they are borne by transportation system users, employers, and businesses. Underinvestment in rural traffic enforcement and safe roadway infrastructure contributes to rural crash rates (Khurshid, Irfan et al. 2015, Chung, Nazarian et al. 2017). Although most traffic crashes have little direct impact on transportation agency budgets, the associated medical costs are substantial. These costs are ultimately borne by drivers and employers in the form of higher insurance rates, or by the public in the form of healthcare taxes for the uninsured. Notably, the national budget for roadway safety infrastructure investments is currently about $2 billion, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. economy about $150 billion (CDC 2017, U.S Federal Highway Administration 2016). There is a need for objective research that presents a holistic view of the effects of various levels of rural transportation investment on the health, safety, and economic vitality of rural areas. Such a study could assist decision makers at all levels of government in understanding the overall effects of increasing or decreasing transportation expenditures and help guide programmatic decisions for rural transportation investments. Research Objective The objective of this research is to develop a holistic view of the relationship between transportation investment levels and the health, safety, and economic vitality of rural areas. This includes investment level effects on the state of good repair for transportation assets, as well as broader impacts on public health and economic wellbeing.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-14 To accomplish this objective, the research will examine (and where possible quantify) the long-term effects of rural transportation investment levels on the health, safety, and economic wellbeing of U.S. rural communities. This could potentially be accomplished by comparing social, economic, and infrastructure condition metrics across states and regions with varying levels of rural transportation expenditure. In short: Do states, regions, and counties that invest heavily in transportation have better health, safety, and economic outcomes than those that scrimp on transportation? Relevant metrics could include: â¢ Rural population, income, and employment â¢ Life expectancy and public health â¢ Crime and public safety â¢ Quality-of-life indicators â¢ Long-term costs of maintaining a good state of repair for rural transportation infrastructure and equipment. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation Changes in transportation infrastructure investment levels have lagging effects on infrastructure condition, safety, and quality of life. As a result, there is a lack of clarity about the relationships between short-term savings to agency budgets and long-term impacts on community wellbeing. Similarly, increases in transportation investments generally do not result in immediate benefits. By examining these lagging effects in a holistic manner, the study will provide transportation officials and decision makers with information to help optimize investment levels. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-15 RNS7: Simplified Centerline Marking for Two-lane Paved Rural Highways Research Problem Statement Pavement edge line and center line markings serve as reference points that help drivers position their vehicles accurately. Markings are particularly beneficial on curves, during darkness, and under adverse weather conditions such as fog and heavy snow. The Handbook of Road Safety Measures estimates that the combined use of edge line and centerline markings reduces total crashes by 24% compared to unmarked roads (Rune et al 2009). Much of the rural highway mileage in the U.S. lacks pavement markings (the exact proportion is undocumented). The lack of centerline markings on vast mileages of highways in the U.S. is a safety concern and an impediment to existing lane keeping assistance systems and near-term autonomous vehicle technologies based on optical sensors. Although the 2009 MUTCD recommends the installation of pavement markings on rural highways that carry 3,000 vehicles per day or more, it does not require centerline markings on any two-lane rural highway. In contrast, some Canadian provinces have adopted rather stringent standards for the use of centerline markings on low volume roads, for example 200 vehicles per day in British Columbia and approximately 50 to 500 vehicles per day in Ontario (British Columbia Ministry of Transportation 2000, MTO 2000). A notable aspect of Canadian practice is the use of a continuous single solid yellow centerline on low- volume rural roads, which is expressly prohibited by the U.S. MUTCD. Canadian agencies have reported that using a single solid yellow line simplifies the installation of rural centerline markings and avoids the need for extensive engineering analysis to establish passing zone locations. (On a road that carries 1000 vehicles per day, passing is rare since the peak directional traffic volume is typically less than 1 vehicle per minute). Before this strategy is further considered for usage in the U.S., there is a need for research to determine whether the use of Canadian-style continuous single solid yellow centerlines (or other simplified marking patterns) is understood by drivers and effective in reducing crashes on low-volume rural highways. If implemented, agencies could reduce the cost of providing centerline markings on low-volume rural highways. Research Objective The objective of this research is to: â¢ Compare the safety performance of roadways marked using the single solid centerline with similar unmarked sites (perhaps using matched pairs of Canadian and U.S. roads). â¢ Implement various simplified centerline marking options (continuous single solid line, continuous single dotted line, etc.). â¢ Survey or interview drivers to assess comprehension of the simplified markings. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation Widespread use of the simplified markings could: â¢ Support low-cost safety improvements on low-volume rural roads â¢ Facilitate rural use of Lane Keeping Assist Systems, an existing vehicle safety technology â¢ Facilitate autonomous vehicle deployment in rural areas Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-16 RNS8: Winter Maintenance of Unpaved Roads: Existing Practices Research Problem Statement There are nearly 1.4 million miles of unpaved roads in the United States, comprising one-third of the countryâs total roadway mileage (U.S Federal Highway Administration 2016). In recent years, a growing body of knowledge has been assembled to assist transportation agencies with winter maintenance for paved roads, but very little research has been conducted on the most effective winter maintenance techniques for unpaved roads. Winter maintenance is affected by numerous variables such as temperature, storm intensity, and wind speed, but the few existing winter maintenance guides for gravel roads mostly describe basic techniques. The lack of controlled studies is evident in several challenging maintenance topics, including: â¢ Conflicting recommendations about fundamental issues such as whether to use deicing chemicals and when mechanical removal of snow and ice is appropriate. â¢ Limited information on how to handle abrupt transitions from paved to unpaved surfaces (e.g., bridge decks), which appear to be crucial for winter road safety. â¢ Lack of documentation of relationships between winter maintenance practices and the structural integrity of the roadway during the spring thaw. Winter maintenance practitioners have expressed interest in research to support winter road safety and the economical year-round maintenance of unpaved roads. Research Objective The research will document the state of the practice for unpaved winter road maintenance. To achieve this objective, the proposed research will: â¢ Identify, describe, and inventory existing winter maintenance practices for unpaved rural roads in the U.S. and Canada (also possibly other cold-climate countries such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland). â¢ Analyze interactions between winter maintenance practices, traffic volumes, roadway design, and road surfacing materials (dirt, sand, gravel, etc.). â¢ Explore interactions between winter, spring, and summer maintenance practices (for example, whether the use of summer dust control agents influences winter maintenance practices). Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation As the first in a potential series of unpaved rural road winter maintenance studies, this project would provide baseline information aimed at improving winter safety and reducing long-term maintenance costs. The research findings are expected to lead to improved techniques for winter maintenance on unpaved roads and the wider adoption of best practices. The research would directly benefit all agencies that maintain unpaved roads by saving time and money and improving safety for the traveling public. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-17 RNS9: Traffic Impacts of Energy Development on Rural Roadways Research Problem Statement In recent years, many parts of the rural U.S. have been selected for intensive petroleum and natural gas extraction or the development of wind turbine arrays. Local officials report that in many cases these energy projects generate unprecedented levels of truck traffic on highways that ordinarily carry low traffic volumes. For example, hydraulic fracturing projects are estimated to generate 890 to 1340 truck visits to each well (Broderick et al. 2011). Other reported traffic impacts during construction include traffic delays resulting from materials and equipment loading/unloading and loss of road space to worker parking. Ongoing operation and maintenance of energy facilities can result in smaller, but longer-term traffic increases. Some transportation agencies in these areas have observed that there is limited coordination among energy companies, contractors, state regulatory offices, and local officials, which may have contributed to these impacts. Research on effective strategies for mitigating rural traffic congestion associated with energy development could be beneficial to transportation agencies in these regions. Research Objective The objective of this research is to identify and document the practices that agencies are currently using to mitigate traffic impacts resulting from energy development. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Survey state and local agencies to identify (and if possible, quantify) the extent of traffic impacts resulting from energy development projects. â¢ Compile and compare state and local policies that have been implemented to mitigate these traffic impacts. â¢ Document best practices and research needs. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The research is expected to yield best practices that can be applied in the near term by agencies seeking to mitigate the traffic impacts of energy development projects. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-18 RNS10: Structural & Seismic Risks to Rural Roads and Bridges in Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction Areas Research Problem Statement Although hydraulic fracturing (HF) has been used in the energy sector since the 1950s, technological advancements such as directional drilling have sharply increased its use in recent years. Each HF well generates an estimated 890 to 1340 truck visits (Broderick et al. 2011), which can represent a substantial increase in traffic when the wells are accessed on low volume rural roads. Some transportation agencies have reported pavement degradation and bridge damage as a result of this traffic. The US Geological Survey reports that HF and wastewater disposal (WD) by deep underground injection substantially increase seismic risks in petroleum and natural gas extraction areas (WD represents the greater risk due to lubrication of existing geological faults). For example, in central Oklahoma the annual risk of damaging earth-shaking sometimes equals the risk in the Los Angeles area (USGS 2017). As a result, HF/WD increases the risk of pavement and bridge damage caused by seismic forces. Since many of the structures newly at risk are located in parts of the country where seismic design has not traditionally been required, there is potentially a need for retrofitting numerous existing transportation structures to accommodate seismic loads. In some parts of the United States, state, county, and local transportation agencies have developed financial bonding requirements or other stipulations aimed at recovering the near-term costs of pavement and bridge damage caused by energy well construction traffic. The adequacy of these measures at recovering adverse impacts from construction traffic is not well documented, but it could provide useful guidance to other agencies. Currently it is very difficult to predict the long-term effects of HF and WD on the structural integrity of underground rock formations. Since HF and WD appear to magnify existing seismic risks and the time lag between HF/WD and seismic events can be considerable, it is generally not possible to prove that an earthquake or tremblor was âcausedâ by oil/gas extraction. Consequently, it is unlikely that a transportation agency could recover the costs of bridge and pavement repairs through claims against energy companies. Thus, alternative financial arrangements could be necessary to address the heightened financial risks to transportation infrastructure. Research Objective The objectives of this project are as follows: â¢ Develop case examples documenting the extent of pavement and bridge impacts caused by construction of hydraulic fracturing wells. â¢ Identify (and if possible, quantify) the seismic risks attributable to HF/WD for pavements and bridges in typical high, medium, and low seismicity areas. â¢ Identify areas of the country with HF/WD seismic risks that have large numbers of structures lacking in seismic design features. â¢ Analyze the combined effects of increased truck traffic and seismic risks on representative pavements and bridges. â¢ Identify the contractual and regulatory mechanisms that state, county, and local agencies have established to recover near-term pavement/bridge repair costs associated with energy extraction projects. â¢ Develop case examples indicating whether these mechanisms have recovered the full costs of pavement and bridge restoration. â¢ Identify potential regulatory and financial mechanisms for recovering costs associated with seismic retrofitting and mitigating long-term seismic risk.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-19 Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The proposed study will assist agencies in approximately 16 states with assessing near-term costs and long-term risks to transportation infrastructure associated with oil/gas extraction projects. The research will help agencies understand potential mitigation costs and take them into consideration with working with energy development companies and decisions about energy investments. This will help to avoid externalizing the costs, i.e., having them covered by existing and future taxpayers. A better understanding of seismic risks related to hydraulic fracturing and deep underground wastewater disposal will assist agencies with efforts to protect themselves from uninsured losses. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-20 RNS11: Rural Transit Funding Policy Review Research Problem Statement Existing federal regulations impose considerable administrative complexity for the use of rural transit and paratransit funding. For example, there are separate programs for capital equipment, transportation of the elderly and people with disabilities, and transportation of the general rural population (U.S. Federal Transit Administration 2021). Some transit providers assert that this procedural complexity results in disincentives to meeting the needs of rural passengers efficiently. There is currently a lack of research on the state of the practice for rural transit programsâ funding, structure, regulatory requirements, and the impacts of these current practices on rural transit agencies and systems. Research Objective The objective of this research is to review and document the state of the practice for rural transit funding. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Explore the extent to which the existing program structure and regulatory requirements achieve their intended effects. â¢ Identify potential unintended consequences of the current regulatory structure (e.g., distressed rural communities with small tax bases not being able to meet match requirements). â¢ Examine the effects of current regulations and policies on the administrative overhead for rural systems. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The study would clarify the extent to which the current regulatory structure benefits the end users of transit service and begin a process for identifying potential methods for reducing administrative complexity and improving operational efficiency. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-21 RNS12: Innovative Revenue Sources for Rural Transit Systems Research Problem Statement Per-passenger costs for rural transit systems tend to be higher than their urban counterparts due to the effect of low population density on ridership and long travel distances (U.S. Federal Transit Administration 2019). However, while the per-passenger cost of these systems may be more, these systems are invaluable to many rural residents for transportation to work, school, shopping, and medical appointments. Furthering the monetary challenges in rural areas are the smaller tax bases, lack of available local matching funds, and infeasibility of public private partnerships (PPP or P3). Some rural transit systems have overcome this challenge and successfully identified non-tax sources of funding for transit operations. For example, some systems partner with healthcare facilities to provide transportation services funded mainly by patientsâ insurance carriers. Other innovative revenue sources include providing fleet maintenance services for other government agencies and carrying small parcels. To assist agencies that want to consider options for implementing or expanding a rural transit system, there is a need to document these best practices, create a âmenuâ of funding options, and to identify innovate funding mechanisms to assist other rural transit systems in becoming financially sustainable. Research Objective The objective of this research is to create a synthesis of practice. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Identify and describe the transit services provided by rural transportation agencies using non-tax revenues â¢ Review existing state laws to identify limitations on income from such services. â¢ Identify innovative funding techniques that have not yet been documented. â¢ Create a "menu" of funding options for rural transit services. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The synthesis will assist rural agencies in identifying additional funding options for unmet transportation needs. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-22 RNS13: Autonomous Vehicles and the Non-Driving Functions of Rural Public Transit Operators Research Problem Statement Vehicle automation technologies offer the prospect of improved labor efficiency for transportation operating companies (BÃ¶sch, Becker et al. 2018), as well as potential safety benefits such as collision avoidance. As a result, there is increasing interest in the concept of driverless rural transit vehicles. Nevertheless, rural transit and paratransit vehicle operators fulfill many duties in addition to driving. Examples include: â¢ Collecting fare revenue and disseminating information about transit services, schedules, connections, and policies. â¢ Assisting mobility-impaired passengers with boarding, alighting, and wheelchair securement. â¢ Stopping antisocial passenger behavior such as disorderly conduct and vandalism, along with safety rule violations such as smoking while on board. Although there are several fully automated public transit systems in operation in the United States, many of these systems are in specialized environments such as airports. These systems typically include high- level platforms to facilitate boarding/alighting, extensive CCTV security monitoring, and two-way communications to a remote operator who can intervene in case of operational or safety issues. Trip lengths are generally much shorter than those for rural transit systems. To inform the development of automated systems in the rural environment, research is needed to document the non-driving functions of rural transit operators and how these functions can be handled in the future with automated vehicles. Research Objective The objective of this research is to examine the non-driving functions of rural transit operators. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Examine the amount of time rural transit operators spend on non-driving functions â¢ Assess the importance of these functions for the overall effectiveness of rural transit operations â¢ Assess the extent to which non-driving functions can be automated or handled remotely (drawing on relevant experience from existing automated transit systems) Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The analysis is expected to assist rural transit system managers and boards in assessing the potential benefits of forthcoming vehicle automation technologies, the extent to which automation will mitigate concerns about the quality and quantity of drivers available in rural areas, and the feasibility of implementing systems that meet rural needs and conditions. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-23 RNS14: Making the Rural to Urban Transit Transition Research Problem Statement U.S. urban and urbanized area boundaries are redrawn after each decennial Census. These boundary changes redefine eligibility for federal transit funding, which has separate urban and rural programs (U.S. Federal Transit Administration 2021). Rural transit agency service areas located at the margins of an urban area are sometimes reduced or split, and occasionally an entire rural service area is subsumed into an urban area. According to some rural transportation managers, agencies that previously operated with considerable independence have found it necessary to collaborate closely with Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Regional Transit Authorities, and incumbent urban transit systems. Research is needed to document the positive and negative effects of these changes on transit ridership, quality of service, customer satisfaction, and operating costs. Research Objective This objective of this research is to develop case study examples that examine the adaptations made by rural transit agencies in response to significant boundary changes after the 2010 Census. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Identify the rural transit agency services that were affected by the last census and how they were affected â¢ Document (to the extent feasible) the effects of these boundary changes on ridership, quality of service, customer satisfaction, and operating costs â¢ Identify successful and unsuccessful practices to help guide areas facing boundary changes at the 2020 Census. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation This study will assist government officials, transit agencies, and passenger advocacy groups with guidance that may facilitate transit service transitions after the 2020 Census. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-24 RNS15: Human Trafficking Intervention Guide for Rural and Tribal Transportation Agencies Research Problem Statement Human Trafficking is âa crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud or coercion. Any minor (under the age of 18) engaged in commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking according to Federal law, regardless of whether there is force, fraud, or coercion (USDOT TLAHT Indicators Flyer).â Human trafficking in the U.S. has affected as many as 20 million victims (transportation.gov/TLAHT) and rural and Tribal areas of the United States are being impacted due to sparse law enforcement patrol, more agricultural lands, and less available resources. Transportation systems (e.g., transit, freight, rail, aviation) and facilities (e.g., rest areas) owned and operated by rural and Tribal transportation agencies are not exempt from trafficking. In response to the 5-year plan (2013-2017) created by the Presidentâs Interagency Task Force to monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (of which the U.S. Department of Transportation is a member), the U.S. DOT created a strategy and trainings for transportation employees (e.g., DOT, motor coach, transit, aviation, and rail) and transportation-specific public awareness campaigns. However, there is still limited information and data on trafficking in rural areas, and specifically rural transportation. To help rural agencies select and implement effective strategies, further research is needed to identify the extent of the trafficking problem on rural transportation, identify strategies for rural areas with the acknowledged challenges (lack of resources, longer distances, sparse populations, less patrols), and conduct outreach to local transportation agencies to provide training and resources. Research Objective The objective of this research is to define the role of rural transportation agencies in the detection and prevention of trafficking. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Examine the extent of sex trafficking activities at rural transportation facilities and systems (bus, rail, etc.). â¢ Examine the extent of labor trafficking for rural construction projects. â¢ Examine the effectiveness of using rural transportation facilities and systems to disseminate anti- trafficking warnings for high-risk groups such as people with limited English skills and transgender youth. â¢ Examine the effectiveness of using rural transportation facilities and systems to disseminate information about trafficking victim assistance programs. â¢ Create a guide and training focused on rural and Tribal agencies and their unique challenges and work with existing organizations to promote these resources (National Association of County Engineers, American Public Works Association, Rural and Intercity Bus Committee, National Center for Rural Road Safety, Local Technical Assistance Program, National Tribal Technical Assistance Center, etc.) Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The results of this research are expected to assist rural and Tribal transportation agencies in understanding the extent of the rural trafficking problem and characteristics of successful and unsuccessful rural anti- trafficking strategies.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-25 Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-26 RNS16: Trends and Characteristics of Distracted Driving Crashes on Rural âNon-Occupantsâ Research Problem Statement Distracted driving occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to another activity (cell phone, texting, radio, eating, talking to passengers, daydreaming, etc.). This behavior causes visual, cognitive, and/or manual inattentiveness which results in crashes. In 2015, distracted driving resulted in 391,000 injuries in motor vehicle crashes and in 2016, 3,450 fatalities (NHTSA 2018). Distracted driving crashes are especially dangerous for vulnerable users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. According to NHTSA, in 2016, there were 562 non-occupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, horse and buggy riders, and others) killed in distracted-affected crashes (NHTSA 2018). While this is an issue in both urban and rural areas, vulnerable user crashes in rural areas are more likely to result in a fatality (pedestrians crashes are nearly twice as likely to result in a fatality and rural bicycle crashes are three times as likely (UNC Highway Safety Research Center 2006). There is a limited amount of research and data available on the nonoccupant distracted driving crashes. More detailed data analysis is needed to better understand causal factors and possible trends, which will inform the development of potential countermeasures. Research Objective The objectives of this research are to identify trends and characteristics associated with distracted driving crashes affecting non-occupants and to develop recommendations for eliminating this crash type. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Analyze distracted driving crashes affecting non-occupants to identify trends and characteristics such as locations (states, rural vs urban), types of distraction, and other factors involved (e.g., speed, speed limit, road typography, rural vs urban area, number of lanes, location of the nonoccupant, driver ages, high bike/pedestrian use areas, etc.). â¢ Analyze biking, pedestrian, horse and buggy, and distracted driving crashes to identify trends. â¢ Review the extent to which distracted driving is underreported, identify best practices and lessons learned for the crashes where they were reported (coding on crash reports, policies and techniques to determine distraction, etc.). â¢ Utilize the data to make recommendations for âsystemic safetyâ solutions, such as pedestrian sight distance improvements. â¢ Create a compendium of efforts (including recommendations and case studies) to eliminate distracted driver crashes involving nonoccupants. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation This project will provide additional data to transportation agencies, law enforcement, and nonoccupant organizations. The recommendations can assist in policy and countermeasure changes/implementation to decrease the potential for this particular crash type. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-27 RNS17: Bouncing Back from Natural Disasters in Tourism-Dependent Rural Communities Research Problem Statement Natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes can disrupt rural transportation systems, damage infrastructure, and discourage post-event travel. While the economic impact of these natural disasters is felt in every affected community, it is arguably greater in rural communities with economies dependent on tourism. Full recovery from severe disasters can take years. With the rise in the number and scale of natural disasters, the number of rural tourism-dependent communities that are affected is also increasing. Recent examples include hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, hurricane Florence in South Carolina, hurricane Irene in Vermont and Upstate New York, flooding along the Mississippi River, wildfires in California wine country, and a volcano in Hawaii. Rural communities tend to lack transportation resources and funding, be less disaster resilient than their urban counterparts, lack alternative routes or modes, and lack economic diversity. Therefore, natural disasters can have a large economic impact in these communities. To assist rural communities with advance planning and post-disaster recovery, research is needed to identify the impact natural disasters have on transportation in rural tourism-dependent communities and to provide examples of actions that can successfully expedite recovery. Research Objective The objective of this research is to assist rural tourism-dependent communities in understanding the impact a natural disaster would have on their community. It would also provide guidance to help assess their readiness and improve their resiliency plans. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Inventory U.S. rural tourism-dependent communities affected by natural disasters over the past 10 years. â¢ Identify the impacts of natural disasters on transportation in rural tourism-dependent communities. â¢ Identify rapid recovery strategies that communities have utilized to restore temporary and permanent transportation infrastructure. Potential examples include temporary bridges, temporary roads, obtaining alternative access by non-highway modes, and the use of expedited permitting and construction techniques. â¢ Document best practices and case studies on transportation resiliency planning, contingencies, and resources/actions for quicker recovery in the event of a natural disasters. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The analysis is expected to assist rural tourism-dependent communities in assessing their current readiness for a natural disaster that affects their transportation system and quantifying the impacts an event would have. The research findings can be considered and applied to improve upon current contingency plans, disaster recovery strategies, and operational processes. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-28 RNS18: Overcoming Smartphone-Related Barriers to Ride Hailing and Public Transportation for Elderly Research Problem Statement With increased reliance on technology and smartphones, ride hailing services, taxi operators, and public transportation agencies are transitioning to the use of smartphone apps for requesting rides, fare payment, and traveler information. Unfortunately, this provides a barrier for populations that do not use smartphones. One particular population is the elderly. Reliance on public transportation and private car services increases as elderly stop driving on their own. These options can be a mobility solution for those who choose to âage in placeâ in rural areas. Owning and knowing how to use a smartphone can support the use of ride hailing services, taxis, and public transportation, but many elders currently do not use them (Shirgaokar M. 2020). For transportation providers, non-use of smartphones by older customers can result in loss of market share, or in additional costs to provide scheduling and routing information through labor-intensive methods such as call centers. Research is needed to document the barriers and how to empower elderly riders to overcome them. The findings could be considered by transportation agencies, human service agencies, and other stakeholders working to expand transportation options for specialized populations. Research Objective The objective of this research is to document the barriers that limit the use of smartphones by the elderly to access public transportation and ride hailing services. A secondary objective is to develop recommendations to overcome these barriers. To achieve these objectives, the proposed project will: â¢ Document the barriers to public transportation, ride hailing services, and taxi use faced by elderly riders due to limited smartphone access or use. â¢ Analyze the root causes of transportation-related smartphone non-use by elders, such as: â Lack of manual dexterity to operate touchscreen devices. â Confusing or inappropriate user interface design (e.g., text and buttons that are too small). â Lack of knowledge about the benefits of smartphone technology. â Skepticism of the technology or fear of change. â¢ Identify best practices and case studies for overcoming these barriers. â¢ Compile examples of relevant public awareness and education materials. â¢ Develop new methods or solutions as appropriate. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The analysis is expected to provide guidance to inform efforts to facilitate transportation access for the elderly, which could directly benefit their mobility and quality of life. The recommendations will also assist public transportation agencies, ride hailing services, and taxi companies in better serving this demographic. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-29 RNS19: Effects in Rural Areas of Generational Changes in Obtaining Driverâs Licenses Research Problem Statement Recent years have seen a trend for the younger generation to forgo or delay obtaining a driverâs license. One study showed that from 1983 to 2014, the percentage of people with licenses had dropped for most age groups below 50 with the sharpest decline in those aged 16-19 (UMTRI 2016). This trend may be due to the emergence of ride sharing services, the increase in electronic communication, the changes in license requirements, and the changes in priorities/mindset. The trends and their impacts may differ in urban vs. rural areas. There is a need to update the studies conducted 5 years ago to document current trends and to determine the specific effects of this trend on rural areas. There is also a need to determine what challenges and potential benefits may result in rural areas if fewer young people are obtaining their driverâs license (e.g., increase the need for public transportation, increase the need for ride hailing services for people under 18, increase the need to move to more urban areas, decrease the crash rate for this age group). Research Objective The objective of this research is to document the current trend and create a future forecast for generational changes in obtaining driverâs licenses in rural areas. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Analyze data to determine the current trend (e.g., has it peaked/leveled off or continued to decrease, any changes based on economy changes, is this only an urban trend or affecting rural too) â¢ Identify the impacts of the trend on rural areas (e.g., availability of transit and ridesharing services, economic drivers, social drivers) â¢ Explore the similarities and differences this trend is having on rural vs urban communities â¢ Model the future forecast of this trend Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The analysis is expected to assist rural transportation planners in looking forward and how these trends may affect rural transportation in future years, and therefore what current planning approaches should be considered to accommodate this trend change. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-30 RNS20: Exploring the Value of Passenger Rail Service in Rural Network Access Research Problem Statement Passenger rail service supports rural communities by providing intercity connections and connectivity with other transportation services. In many cases passenger rail may be the only (non-personal vehicle) way to access a rural area, especially for those rural areas far from airports. It can also provide access for rural communities to employment, education and healthcare opportunities in urban areas and connect urban areas with rural natural areas. Currently the characteristics of rural rail passengers are not well documented. Although Amtrak publishes statistics about the aggregate number of passengers boarding and alighting at each station, information such as median trip length and the extent of rural-to-rural, rural-to-urban, and urban-to-rural travel is not readily available to decision makers and the public. Deeper analysis of trip patterns, trip purposes, and passenger demographics could add value to the available data. Additionally, relationships between train schedules and ridership could be explored; for example, a number of rural communities are served by Amtrak trains that arrive in the middle of the night, and it is reasonable to expect that these communities receive less benefit from the service than those served by daytime trains. Except for anecdotal information provided by local stakeholders, little is documented about the value passenger rail service provides to residents, visitors, and the communities served (e.g., is passenger rail serving as a connection between local bus systems, as long-distance travel for non-motorized users, as a replacement for air service, for tourism travel, are riders using it for rural to rural or rural to urban trips, do the scheduled stops in rural areas affect use?) Research Objective The objective of this research is to conduct a review of data to define how passenger rail serves rural areas and what this impact is. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Analyze passenger rail data for rural areas (e.g., rider characteristics, purpose of trip, origins/destinations, etc.). â¢ Document the passenger rail/bus/ride hailing connection best practices and case studies. â¢ Identify gaps in rural areas where passenger rail/public transportation connections could be implemented. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The research would assist with multimodal planning in rural areas and document the impact of passenger rail service in rural areas, providing needed data for determining the impacts of service discontinuation proposals and estimating the impacts of service expansions. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-31 RNS21: Accessing Americaâs Great Outdoors: Understanding Recreational Travel Patterns, Demand, and Future Investment Needs for Federal and State Transportation Systems Research Problem Statement Each year, there are an estimated 870 million visits to federal lands (Leggit et al 2017). This recreational and tourism travel, driven by demand for access to parks and public lands, continues to increase in urban and rural areas throughout the country, placing new and changing demands (traffic congestion, air pollution, etc.) on transportation systems. Managing this travel demand has been increasingly challenging and has put stress on not only the public lands themselves, but also on the gateway communities that provide access to them. For example, many National Parks have seen substantial and rapid changes in visitation rates over the last five years (increases as high as 40% and 60% at some units) and looking ahead, the growth rate for international visitation to the US is higher than the forecast growth for domestic travel (according to the US Travel Association). In many places, tourism is expanding rapidly and at record breaking numbers. For example, tourism to Utah grew 12 percent from 2011 to 2015, with visitors spending a record of nearly $8.2 billion and generating approximately $1.15 billion in total state and local tax revenue. Outdoor recreation contributed $373.7 billion to the US economy (or 2%) in 2016, exceeding the economic contributions of other industries that access similar lands (e.g., mining, oil, and gas extraction at 1.4% of total GDP) (BEA ORSA). The outdoor recreation economy grew 3.8 percent in 2016, compared with the overall U.S. economyâs 2.8 percent growth that year. Many local communities in rural areas are largely dependent on the recreation travel economy. Given state and regional tourism marketing campaigns, advantageous economic conditions, population growth, national development patterns, baby boomer retirements and global tourism trends, recreational travel to federal and state public lands will likely continue to increase based on current trends, resulting in new and more challenges for state and federal transportation managers and the possibility that these activities will require a greater share of national transportation investments. Research Objective Commuter and freight travel patterns and needs have been extensively studied over the past 50 years. These studies, and the resulting operational and management changes to Interstates, state highways, arterials and local roads have maximized transportation investments, improved safety and allowed communities to improve long-term access and quality of life investments. Recreational travel patterns have not received this type of attention from the transportation industry. As this sector of the economy grows, transportation impacts from recreation travel are also growing, and the impacts to quality of life are being felt by local community residents and businesses, along with millions of visitors. Investments in recreation-related multimodal transportation infrastructure, operations and management are difficult without some ability to understand, document and plan effectively for future system performance. This project has three objectives: â¢ Document and describe recreational and tourism travel demand and the related data gap within key states of interest (focus states TBD). This would create the baseline needed to account for both the recreational travel demand on federal and state roads and the contribution recreational travel makes to the overall use of transportation assets and the economic development and sustainability of these regions and local communities. â¢ Identify and begin to explore which factors (economic, demographic, geographical, etc.) drive recreational travel volumes and patterns (both within and between public lands). Greater understanding
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-32 of these factors will allow both states and federal entities to proactively plan for and manage travel routes to accommodate both volumes and user types in a way that provides for high quality transportation experience and informs fiscal decisions on transportation infrastructure to meet recreational traveler needs. â¢ Share findings with local communities with strong recreation travel interest, allowing them to better understand and plan for investments in economic, transportation and other issues that may affect quality of life for residents and experience for visitors. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation Several Federal departments have goals to enhance recreation and tourism on public lands (e.g., DOI SO 3366, USDA Call to Action #5). As a result, these agencies have reported interest in finding sustainable solutions to managing recreational travel demand generated by public land visitation. Increased assessment and planning for visitor use management along recreational travel routes would support both federal and state efforts to successfully manage changing visitation, connect visitors to public spaces, protect resources, support local economies and provide for high quality travel experiences. However, most (if not all) travel demand models use tools and assumptions that do not account for the unique needs, uses and patterns of recreation-based travel. Most transportation planning and related data collection efforts have focused primarily on travel related to work (commuting and commerce), which limits the ability to fully use these results to understand and proactively manage recreational travel demand. Therefore, there is a great need for increased research in understanding recreational travel demand, patterns and demographics. Without this information, land managers, states and gateway communities have limited and inconsistent resources by which to make transportation decisions about access, quality and asset management within a single jurisdiction, let alone across multiple jurisdictions within a region. Ultimately this research will help federal agencies and states 1) clearly understand future recreational demand on transportation systems, 2) understand relationships between and within recreation sites and 3) forecast needs associated with future projected recreational travel demand. Persons Developing the Problem Rachel Collins, Nathan Reigner, Steve Suder, Ben Rasmussen, Linda MacIntyre with the support of the TRB Committee on Transportation Needs of National Parks and Public Lands (ADA40)
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-33 RNS22: MIRE Data Requirements Supporting Safety Improvements on Unpaved Roads Research Problem Statement Newer federal regulations (beginning with The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP- 21) and continuing with the Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation (FAST) Act) strongly supported the view that quality data for all public roads provides the foundation for making important decisions regarding the design, operation, and safety of roadways. The federal regulations required that states must have safety data (e.g., roadway, traffic, and crash) systems with the ability to perform safety problem identification and countermeasure analysis. The Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) establishes a basic data set that can be used in GIS-based analysis of roadway characteristics and safety. Roadway and Safety data consistent with MIRE recommendations is critical for agencies of all sizes. These consistent data sets are needed to aid agencies in developing safety performance measures and making sound safety investments to reduce fatal and injury crashes. Subsequent regulations required states to adopt and use a subset of the MIRE data (known as Fundamental Data Elements or FDE) in safety data systems. As there are 37 FDE and collecting all of this information for every roadway would be a challenge for states, a tiered system was created. Therefore, 37 FDE are required for non-local paved roads, 9 FDE are required for paved local roads, and 5 FDE are required for unpaved roads. The 5 FDE that are required for unpaved roads only describe the ownership, functional class, beginning, and end points of the unpaved roadway. While the requirements were put in place intentionally to not overburden states and or local agency that face data collection barriers, they do not provide enough data to perform safety problem identification and countermeasure analysis, to showcase the safety difference between paved and unpaved roads, nor to identify national trends. Safety data analysis is needed as unpaved roadways account for almost 35% of U.S. roads and are owned and maintained by multiple agencies (including local, Tribal, and Federal Lands). Unpaved roads accounted for 546 fatal crashes in 2016 with 93% of these fatal crashes being single-vehicle crashes (Anderson, Skorseth et al. 2017). Safety concerns with unpaved roads include, but are not limited to no shoulders, narrow lanes, sharp curves, limited sight distance, roadside obstacles, minimal signing and delineation. At times, safety or safety issues on unpaved roads are caused by things that are not common on paved roads, such as road surface condition and road dust (Anderson, Skorseth et al. 2017). Therefore, research is needed to identify additional FDE that are appropriate, achievable, and implementation-ready for unpaved roads. These FDE could be provided as suggested additional data collection elements to local agencies. Research Objective The objectives of this research are to: â¢ Identify FDE that would enhance the analysis of safety data on unpaved roads â¢ Explore and document the barriers for local, Tribal and Federal Lands agencies for collecting, maintaining, and sharing this data with state DOTs. â¢ Create guidance and training for local, Tribal, and Federal lands for collecting the unpaved road data â¢ Conduct a pilot data collection
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-34 Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation The anticipated product for this research is appropriate, achievable, implementation-ready, MIRE Fundamental Data Elements used for unpaved roads. These suggested additional FDE can be included in the next version of MIRE or as a supplement to the current MIRE version 2.0. The research project would provide local and Tribal transportation agencies, and Federal Lands agencies with a guide for consistent data sets to help develop safety performance measures and prioritize safety investments to reduce fatal and injury crashes. Persons Developing the Problem Anthony R. Giancola and Jaime Sullivan with the support of the TRB Subcommittee on Rural Road Safety Policy, Programming and Implementation
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-35 RNS23: Development and Implementation of a National Intercity Bus Atlas Research Problem Statement The purpose of this research project is to develop a national atlas of intercity bus services that utilizes General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data, is publicly available, can be maintained to a high level of currency, and is complementary to the National Transit Map. Although the network of intercity bus services represents the most comprehensive national coverage provided by any of the intercity modes, there has not been any comprehensive, complete, and up-to-date inventory of these services until recently. According to policymakers, planners, operators of complementary services, and the industry itself, such an inventory is needed to understand and depict the current state of the intercity bus network, its role, its connections with local transit, and its role with regard to Amtrak and commercial air service. This mode has gone unrecognized for its critical role in connecting Americaâs rural areas, small and large citiesâin part because of lack of information about the national network it provides, and in part because most of this network is operated without federal or state subsidies. At a number of times in the past such a tool could have been extremely useful for policy analysis, for research and for planning for improved connectivity. For example, it could have been used to determine the impacts on service levels, connectivity and mobility of such events as the Greyhound restructuring of 2004-2005, or the growth of curbside services such as (Megabus, Flixbus, etc.) that have developed over the past decade. The major federal program of assistance for intercity bus service has been the Section 5311(f) program, providing federal funding to support intercity bus services serving rural areas. This program provides for a 15% set-aside of each stateâs allocation of Section 5311 funding, unless the state certifies that there are no unmet rural intercity needs (U.S. Federal Transit Administration 2014). The 15% set-aside amounts to nearly $100 million per year, yet there is no map that can be used to help evaluate unmet needs, or to show which routes are funded by this program (U.S. Federal Transit Administration 2014). Changes to Amtrak services are under consideration, and there is no publicly available national map that shows how intercity bus services relate to Amtrak, whether as part of the Amtrak network (Amtrak Thruway), complementary connecting service, or even directly competitive service. Policy issues regarding the Essential Air Service program could also benefit from the existence of a current atlas in intercity bus services that would show how rural areas are connected to the national airline system. By using GTFS, which includes not only the routes (assigned to the highway network), but exact latitude and longitude of stops and terminals, and the schedules/frequency of service, this network can be linked to other data such as the National Transit Map to assess connectivity and to Census or health data, allowing assessments of the degree to which mobility and access exist from rural areas. The ability to know exactly where the stops are located allows for assessment of connections to transit, as it will be possible to determine the proximity of intercity bus and transit stops. If such a tool exists and is maintained, by saving each update it will be possible to monitor trends in coverage or service levels over time. Finally, a major potential benefit is that by promoting the development of GTFS data for inclusion in this map, the industry may have the opportunity to use this data for trip-planning purposes if made available to information providers such as Google Transitâallowing potential travelers to know all the connecting services needed to make multi- modal trips. Potential users of this tool include state departments of transportation, state, regional and local planning agencies; policy researchers; the academic community; trade associations; and the industry itself.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-36 Research Objective This project is intended to support the development and implementation of the NIBA as an ongoing, comprehensive and publicly available inventory of intercity bus services. While the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has developed the structure and platform to house and maintain the NIBA, research is needed to populate the NIBA with GTFS data. The research team can work with BTS and its working group to accomplish this project. Key task elements of this research project include: â¢ Development of standards for inclusionâwhether based on service type (fixed-route, fixed-schedule), minimum frequency, route length, connectivity or other factors. This effort should consider such aspects as the degree to which transit commuter routes are included, how to include services that are marketed as parts of several networks (many Amtrak Thruway bus routes are operated by intercity carriers who also sell seats on the same bus), etc. â¢ Identification of the universe of firms that should be included and contacting them to elicit participation. â¢ Clarification of the difference between provision of data for this research tool, as compared to potential issues with carrier provision of GTFS to trip-planning developers, etc. â¢ Activities to promote the need to develop and supply GTFS data to the industry itself, including coordination with industry trade associations including the American Bus Association (ABA) and the United Motorcoach Association (UMA). The goal is to have carriers sign the MOU, agree to provide data (generally easily developed by their ticketing system) on an ongoing basis. â¢ Identify and work with ticketing firms to make GTFS data generation a routine part of ticketing system updates. â¢ Development of potential applications for NIBA data, such as defining routes funded with Section 5311(f), routes funded with other sources, the Amtrak Thruway network, routes operated without subsidy, mobility analysis, equity analysis, service gaps and unmet needs. This effort includes identification of additional data to be joined with the NIBA, as well as potential analyses. â¢ Identification of potential additional layers for inclusion such as airport ground transportation providers, or bus companies serving particular ethnic communities that are open to public, etc. â¢ Work with industry efforts to develop and include GTFS Flex data so that the many rural transit operations that are demand-response can be included (both as part of NIBA and the National Transit Map), showing their potential role in a connected national network. â¢ Identify a permanent method and lead agency for maintaining the NIBA map and associated timetables, such as a public agency, industry group, or open-source community. This effort may include initial conversion of timetable data into GTFS to demonstrate to carriers and their ticketing contractors what this entails, and to encourage them to sign the MOU and commit to maintenance of their data. Any GTFS data developed or collected will be provided to BTS for inclusion in the NIBA. The end product of this research will be the populated and functioning NIBA, and a technical report addressing the activities, results, issues and future directions of this effort. It will include a base map of the national intercity bus network, as defined in this process, current as of the conclusion of this inventory, a functioning process for maintaining the map, and potential additional uses and research that can be conducted using this tool. It will also include a plan for future development of the NIBA, and the resources needed to maintain and improve it. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation Potential users of this tool include state departments of transportation; state, regional and local planning agencies; policy researchers; the academic community; trade associations; and the industry itself.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-37 Persons Developing the Problem Fred Fravel
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-38 RNS 24: Innovative Business Models for Rural Intercity Passenger Transportation Research Problem Statement Air, passenger rail, intercity bus, and maritime services provide transportation alternatives for rural residents who do not want to drive long distances (or are unable to do so for medical, religious, or other reasons). In many rural communities, local officials have expressed interest in expanding the available intercity passenger transportation options and improve service frequency and quality. Intercity services also have the potential to bolster tourism and other local economic development initiatives, but existing route networks are often sparse, schedules are often designed for the convenience of passengers originating in distant cities, and quality of service is not always aligned with passenger expectations. According to local officials, they generally have very little influence over the availability, scheduling, and quality of intercity passenger services. Privately-operated motorcoach services can add and delete routes and stops at will. In many communities, federally subsidized air and rail services have been subject to a decades-long cycle of threatened budget cuts, followed by local activism to âsaveâ the service (Congressional Research Service 2018, Congressional Research Service 2021). For investors, these issues sow doubts about the long-term sustainability of intercity services, making it very difficult to plan tourism projects or other economic development efforts around them (Zipkin 2020). The emergence of privately operated van services, rural ride hailing services, and curbside intercity bus companies such as Megabus and Tornado provide indications that there are market niches where intercity services can be operated profitably (or at least at break-even). Local officials are well positioned to identify additional niches, but traditional business models are daunting: air services require large capital investments, Amtrak service expansion usually requires years of multilateral negotiation, and federal subsidy programs for intercity bus and essential air services are tightly regulated. These officials identified a need for nimble business models that could allow communities to respond quickly to locally identified passenger transportation opportunities. A number of rural communities have experience with cooperative associations aimed at bringing down the costs of freight transportation. These enterprises address many of the same issues that affect intercity passenger transportation, such as remoteness, sparsely distributed customers, and improving responsiveness to local needs. New intercity passenger transportation business models could potentially be developed around concepts such as non-profit cooperatives. These organizations might be able to leverage the combined know-how of local officials, local entrepreneurs, passenger associations, and community advocates to develop unsubsidized (or locally subsidized) passenger services. Passenger co-ops might utilize low-cost equipment to start up and grow service networks, while leveraging modern information technology to provide customer information and ticketing. Local businesses might support these efforts by sharing service information with their customers and employees, and services could be integrated with existing local transit services for âfirst mile/last mileâ connections. The development and maintenance of passenger facilities could potentially be a community service project for local clubs and organizations, and passenger services might be aligned with local economic development strategies. In some cases, the services might assist rural communities in addressing population loss by making it easier for highly skilled residents to reside in rural areas while maintaining business and social contacts in urban areas. To support these concepts, local officials and advocates would need information about the principles of cooperative business structures, the costs of operating transportation services, and methods for analyzing the financial viability of proposed services.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-39 Research Objective The objective of this research is to identify innovative business models that could support improved intercity passenger services. Although the main focus of the research is unsubsidized rural ground transportation services, the principles of the research could also be applied to development of rail, maritime, and air passenger services. To achieve this objective, the proposed project will: â¢ Analyze non-traditional rural transportation business models such as freight shipper cooperatives and describe the characteristics of enterprises that have achieved long-term financial and organizational stability. â¢ Describe relevant characteristics of existing unsubsidized rural passenger transportation providers such as privately operated van services and curbside bus companies, such as pricing and marketing strategies. â¢ Identify business structures that might be applied to the development of rural intercity services, such as the development of non-profit transportation cooperatives. â¢ Compile available information about methods for estimating passenger demand and analyzing the financial viability of proposed services. â¢ Identify potential supporting roles for existing local businesses and organizations, such as integration of the services with their business operations and the provision of passenger amenities. Urgency, Payoff Potential, and Implementation Since the earliest years of the American passenger transportation system, rural communities have been buffeted by the external decisions of railroads, bus companies, airlines, maritime operators, and federal agencies. Although these decisions potentially impact local economies, they are often made with little or no meaningful local consultation. The development of new intercity transportation business models could provide communities with an unprecedented ability to influence their connections to larger cities, and to integrate intercity transportation into their overall economic development strategies. Persons Developing the Problem The NCHRP 20-122 Project Team
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-40 RNS25: Development and Implementation of Multi-Modal Trip Planning and Booking, Merging Fixed-Route to Demand-Response Services Research Problem Statement Technology has changed how people arrange travel, from Expedia or Orbitz to Uber or Lyft. Technology can identify where service is available and enable travelers to reserve a seat or purchase a ticket. Mapping software enables us to choose directions for driving, transit, trains or walking. Much of the development of transit-related technology to date has been for urban areas, with a focus on fixed-route transit. In rural areas, however, many transit services are flexible or demand responsive, and these are not addressed by most existing trip planning tools. Developing and implementing technology that addresses demand responsive transportation as well as fixed-route transit would enable integration of human service transportation, taxis, and transportation network companies (TNCs). This also would enable riders to use less expensive fixed-route services for long stretches and use demand response, taxis, and TNCs for the first- and last-miles of their trips. According to rural transportation stakeholders, a comprehensive research, development, and implementation approach is needed to expand current transportation planning tools to accommodate demand response services with a goal of enabling individuals or agencies to discover all available services and service constraints as well as to plan, schedule, and pay for trips. It will be important to include all transportation options â fixed and flexible transit services, taxis, human service transportation, and transportation network companies. Available information would include hours of service, accessibility, and cost for those services that meet the riderâs travel requirements. The research and development must also enable providers to engage in the transactions needed to coordinate with other providers, and to deliver trips, process fares/other payments for trips provided on behalf of others. Research Objective The objective of this research is to build upon existing work to enable on-demand, multi-modal trips to be booked in real time. The project will expand and implement information technology infrastructure that is suitable for rural services, can be deployed on a statewide basis, uses open-source software and open data tools, and can include all available services. â¢ Technology has already been developed on the trip discovery side: through the FTA Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox project in Vermont, GTFS-Flex has been implemented and OpenTripPlanner has been adapted to provide travel options using flexible service data. â¢ The open source 1-Click software application has been integrated into several scheduling engines across different regions, allowing the immediate booking of demand responsive trips through an online application. The TCRP G16 research project yielded a transactional specification that can standardize this process within all software applications. Middleware is needed to connect the two components above together so that flexible services can be booked, in real-time and on multimodal trips, using the 1-Click application. Further, additional deployments of GTFS-Flex data and the TCRP G16 specification should be investigated to validate the replicability of the overall system. While the development and implementation are necessarily locally based, the project will take a modular approach, resulting in tools that can be used in a variety of states and rural regions. The research objectives will be accomplished through a combination of working with a State-level advisory committee and a technical team doing software development. â¢ Work with one or more states to advance development of GTFS-Flex, OpenTripPlanner, 1-Click, and booking integration. â It is recommended that any location selected be one that already has a foundation in place.
Rural Transportation Issues: Research Roadmap E-41 â Candidate states might include Vermont, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Utah, and Oregon. In some states only a region might be covered. â By taking this approach the project can be completed in 12-18 months. â¢ Technical elements for the selected location would include: â Creation of GTFS-Flex network as needed in individual areas â Further refinement of OTPs and the use of GTFS-Flex â Integration of new OTP/GTFS-Flex capabilities in 1-Click â Adapt 1-Click booking engine to use TCRP G16 transaction standards â Integrate with a new scheduling software as needed â¢ Work with an advisory panel representing a broader group of states to identify the potential role of states, issues related to adoption such as ongoing resource requirements or need for a governance structure to manage open-source software, and different pathways to adoption. Urgency, Pay-off Potential, and Implementation This project will deploy a usable and replicable open-source tool that allows transit riders to plan multi- modal trips and book demand-responsive legs from their computer or mobile phone. Further benefits will accrue to state DOTs, to agencies providing transportation services, and to rural residents. A key benefit is that it will assist in developing a modular IT infrastructure implementation that includes demand-responsive transportation and can integrate all available modes seamlessly. This is critical for increasing agency influence over design and development of tools and assuring that travelers can consider all options when making travel decisions. This IT infrastructure is a necessary foundation for effective coordination of human service and public transportation resources, a long sought-after goal. Finally, it will help residents meet their transportation needs and find more efficient itineraries combining fixed route, demand responsive, and privately operated services. Persons Developing Problem Statement Thomas Craig and Aaron Antrim of Trillium Solutions, Inc.; Paul Sorenson of Cambridge Systematics; Roger Teal of Demand Trans Solutions; Kevin Chambers of Full Path Consulting; and Suzanne OâNeill of Transit Plus, Inc.
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