November 2016
A new report from the University’s Accessibility Observatory estimates the accessibility to jobs by transit in 49 of the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas in the United States. The metrics in this report are comparable to those presented in the Observatory’s earlier report on access to jobs by auto. Taken together, these reports provide a comprehensive view of the relative accessibility impact of auto and transit systems across different cities.
Public universities play a well-known role in creating new knowledge, but they must also bring that knowledge beyond the ivory tower and into the community. A new pilot program at the University of Minnesota focuses on working with partners outside the U to create new knowledge and put it into play to benefit the community. One of the pilot projects builds on a study of bus operator optimization completed earlier this year.
A crew of maintenance workers using stencils, rollers, and paint to apply pavement markings is a common sight—but a new robot has the potential to revolutionize this process. Researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth have created a fully functioning robotic roadway painter that may completely change the way messages and symbols are painted on the roadway. The robot has the potential to improve safety and productivity.
When people drive more, they use active travel modes—such as walking and biking—less. Many research studies have suggested that providing access to public transit reduces vehicle use and encourages active transportation. Other studies, however, conclude that transit might actually substitute for cycling and walking trips, leading to reduced health benefits. A recent paper explores whether the health impacts of transit use are overstated.