research

Factors affecting the decline in VMT: A new SSTI report

By Chris McCahill SSTI has released a paper outlining factors contributing to the recent decline in American driving and the implications for transportation planning. As previously reported, per capita VMT has decreased steadily for the past eight years, resulting in a slight decrease in overall

VMT Inflection Point: Factors Affecting 21st Century Travel (SSTI, 2013)

For many decades, transportation planning has assumed continued increases in automobile use. Now, in a major reversal, the average American is driving considerably less. According to the most recent FHWA travel-volume report for July, total vehicle miles traveled showed no increase compared to

Ready. Transit. Go: Lining up development to meet current and future transportation demands

By Mary Ebeling Minneapolis-St. Paul has big plans. The Twin Cities have set a goal to develop 14 transit ways by 2030 in an effort to transform the future transportation infrastructure and development patterns there. These transit ways will need to carry a high number of riders to remain

Has Motorization in the U.S. Peaked? Part 2: Use of Light-Duty Vehicles (Michael Sivak, 2013)

This study is an examination of trends from 1984-2011 in distances driven by light-duty vehicles in the U.S. This is in contrast to several other recent studies that analyzed distances driven by all vehicles including medium and heavy trucks, buses, and motorcycles). The report presents trends

Lower VMT of TOD the result of density more than rail

By Robbie Webber A study published in the Journal of the American Planning Association argues that the rail transit frequently used to define transit-oriented development is not the most important factor in reducing vehicle miles traveled and car ownership. Overall density and the availability of

Got the flu? Maybe you need to ride public transit more

By Robbie Webber A new study from the U.K. finds that conventional wisdom may have it wrong when it comes to the link between getting sick and riding in crowded buses or trains. Although it would seem that sitting or standing in a small, crowded space with other possibly-sick people would

Fighting transit fear with transit facts

By Bill Holloway While per-capita traffic casualties are declining with increasing transit ridership, many people still harbor an irrational fear of public transit—making them less likely to use transit or support increased transit service.  Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy

Carmaggedon leads to significantly better air quality

By Robbie Webber As Los Angeles-area residents were preparing for “Carmageddon II” – the second scheduled closing in two years of 10 miles of Interstate 405, the busiest highway in the country, to complete bridge work – research findings were released showing almost instantaneous

Local air quality benefits of street-level foliage much greater than previously thought

By Bill Holloway In a recently released study, researchers in the UK have found that street-level plantings can reduce two of the dominant pollutants—particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)—by 60 and 40 percent, respectively, in urban street “canyons.” Previous city-scale

Productivity of trains as mobile offices a factor in mode selection

By Robbie Webber Although driving or flying may be faster door-to-door, trains offer something those modes do not: uninterrupted time to work. And this additional work time is starting to be a factor in transportation mode choice for many workers. Although many people attempt to work while