Telecommunications and Sustainable Transportation

Principal Investigator:

Frank Douma, Director, SLPP, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project Summary:

This research investigated how advances in telecommunications-based technologies could aid in making transportation more sustainable. The first task examined the effect of telecommunications on work and shopping trips. The second task focused on how transit could be improved through new technology; specifically, whether the addition of GPS-based technology to flexible, on-demand paratransit services has the potential to serve the general public. The third task considered how wireless telecommunications, particularly e-911 services, could improve transportation system safety in rural areas. These efforts found that particular opportunities exist. Advances in residential broadband telecommunications may lead to increased travel, which demonstrates a need for increased collaboration between telecommunication and transportation infrastructure planning. Similarly, emergency response services would benefit from increased cooperation between transportation agencies, local telecommunications providers, and emergency response services. Finally, new GPS technologies create opportunities for paratransit services to provide trips to the general public as a complement to existing fixed-route services in areas with low population densities. Finally, more research is needed, as careful targeting of the improvements would maximize the benefits from these developments. A particular area of need is in understanding interorganizational process, as these recommendations call for providers to reach beyond their traditional expertise.

Sponsor:

Project Details:

  • Start date: 10/2001
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Research Area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Economics, Planning

Related Links:

ITS Opportunities Resulting from Developments in Home Broadband Telecommunications (105 KB PDF) prepared for the 2004 ITS America Conference