"As the United States imports more than half of its oil and overall consumption continues to climb, the 1992 Energy Policy Act established the goal of having "alternative fuels" replace at least ten percent of petroleum fuels used in the transportation sector by 2000, and at least thirty percent by 2010. Currently, alternative fuels consumed in Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFVs) account for less than one percent of total consumption of gasoline. This paper examines how alternative fuel E85 can be used to reverse that trend. In addition, this research paper will take a look at some of the ongoing government decisions concerning the use of the alternative fuel E85, and will discuss what policy makers might hold for the future in terms of the supply and demand of alternative fuels in the United States. This case study will be useful to all stakeholders involved in the transportation industry, including, but not limited to the government, policy makers, automakers, motorists, and researchers, eager to find a just balance with both a better transportation system and a healthy and clean environment."
"This research compares density in a few select cities with the accepted transit efficiency performance measure of operating cost per passenger mile to determine whether this statistic is better in more dense cities."
"The current project explored ways to create custom roadway segments for use in the TTI driving simulator. The project initially attempted to use AutoCAD Civil 3D roadway drawings and export them for use in the simulator."
"The Master of Public Service and Administration program at Texas A&M's Bush School of Government and Public Service requires that all second year graduate students participate in a two semester Capstone course."
"In this report, we study information propagation via inter-vehicle communication along two parallel roads. By identifying an inherent Bernoulli process, we are able to derive the mean and variance of propagation distance."
"This report is a compilation of research papers written by students participating in the 2010 Undergraduate Transportation Scholars Program. The 10-week summer program, now in its 20th year, provides undergraduate students in Civil Engineering the opportunity to learn about transportation engineering through participating in sponsored transportation research projects. The program design allows students to interact directly with a Texas A&M University faculty member or Texas Transportation Institute researcher in developing a research proposal, conducting valid research, and documenting the research results through oral presentations and research papers. The papers in this compendium report on the following topics, respectively: 1) estimating carriers/truckers value of time due to congestion; 2) evaluating retroreflectivity measurement techniques for profiled and rumble stripe pavement markings; 3) analyzing retroreflectivity and color degradation in sign sheeting; 4) evaluating the effectiveness of LED enhanced stop paddles for school crossing guard use; 5) incorporating freight value into the Urban Mobility Report; 6) evaluating ASTM Standard Test Method E2177, retroreflectivity of pavement markings in a condition of wetness; 7) calibrating pavement performance prediction models; and 8) evaluating the effects of concrete curing compounds on hydration."
"This report is a compilation of research papers written by students participating in the 2011 Undergraduate Transportation Scholars Program. The papers in this compendium report on the following topics, respectively: 1) evaluating the impact of nighttime work zone lighting characteristics n motorists; 2) late night roadway visibility; 3) investigation of the use and pricing of the I-15 express lanes in San Diego; 4) intercity passenger rail access to airports: a case study at the Milwaukee airport; 5) development of a background complexity assessment tool; 6)identifying pavement preservation treatments suitable for performance-related specifications; and 7)arsenic content and retro-reflectivity of glass beads used in pavement markings."
"This report summarized the findings from reviewing the literature on several topics that are related to heavy vehicle emissions including engine and fuel types, vehicle technologies that can be used to reduce or mitigate vehicle emission, the factors that affect vehicle emission, vehicle emissions modeling, and current and future policy requiring accurate accounting of heavy vehicle emission."
"The report describes a comprehensive vehicle fleet composition, utilization, and evolution simulator that can be used to forecast household vehicle ownership and mileage by type of vehicle over time. The components of the simulator are developed in this research effort using detailed revealed and stated preference data on household vehicle fleet composition, utilization, and planned transactions collected for a large sample of households in California. Results of the model development effort show that the simulator holds promise as a tool for simulating vehicular choice processes in the context of activity-based travel microsimulation model systems."
"Fatigue cracking is a significant form of pavement distress in flexible pavements. The properties of the sand-asphalt mortars or fine aggregate matrix (FAM) can be used to characterize the evolution of fatigue crack growth and self-healing in asphalt mixtures. This study compares the internal microstructure of the mortar within a full asphalt mixture to the internal microstructure of the FAM specimen. This study also conducts a limited evaluation of the influence of mixture properties and methods of compaction on the engineering properties of the FAM specimens. The results from this study, although limited in number, indicate that in most cases the SGC compacted FAM specimen had a microstructure that most closely resembled the microstructure of the mortar within a full asphalt mixture. Another finding from this study was that, at a given level of damage, the healing characteristic of the three different types of FAM mixes was not significantly different. This indicates that the healing rate is mostly dictated by the type of binder and not significantly influenced by the gradation or binder content, as long as the volumetric distribution of the mastic was the same. In other words, the inherent healing characteristics of the asphalt binder play a more significant role relative to other properties (e.g. volumetrics) in the overall fatigue cracking resistance of the asphalt mixture."
"This report is primarily focused on the development of mathematical models that can be used to support decisions regarding a charging station location and installation problem. The major parts of developing the models included identification of the problem, development of mathematical models in the form of bi-level and stochastic programming problems, and development of a solution approach using a meta-heuristic method."
"This project conducted initial testing to develop a method for quantifying plant and soil carbon sequestration capabilities under the controlled conditions of the Texas Transportation Institute's Environmental and Emissions Research Facility (EERF)."
"Right-turn lanes provide space for the deceleration and storage of right-turn vehicle, and separate turning vehicles from through movements. Dual right-turn lanes are increasingly used at urban intersections primarily for two reason: (1) to accommodate high right-turn demands and avoid turn-pocket overflows, and/or (2) to prevent right-turn vehicles that exit from a nearby upstream freeway off-ramp (on the left of the roadway) from abruptly changing too many lanes toward the right-turn lane at intersection."
"This paper shows the economic efficiency of allowing longer combination vehicles in Texas. First, an overview of the truck size and weight policies is explained, with an emphasis on those that affect Texas. Next, LCV operations in other countries are described. Then, an LCV scenario for Texas is chosen, with specific routes and vehicle types. Operational costs for these vehicles are calculated on a cost per mile and cost per ton (or cubic yard) mile. The LCV scenario and the current truck base case are analyzed to find the number of truck trips, the number of mile, and the cost per mile for the chosen routes. These are then compared to estimate the change if LCVs were allowed in Texas."
"This report used 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) Texas data to consider the equity impacts surrounding four vehicle miles traveled (VMT) scenarios. Results indicate that all of the VMT fee scenarios are essentially as equally vertically equitable as the current state gas tax system."
"This study defines a novel connectivity indicator (CI) to predict transit performance by identifying the role that street network connectivity plays in influencing the service quality of demand responsive feeder transit services."
"This research is intended to evaluate mobile source GHG emissions for traffic management strategies, in which a Portable Emission Measurement System (PEMS) is used to collect the vehicle's real-world emission and activity data, and Vehicle Specific Power (VSP) based modeling approach is used as the basis for emission estimation."
"Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) refers to dense, pedestrian-friendly, livable communities that have good transit as a nucleus. While transit facilities are missing in most suburban towns and the residents are heavily dependent on their vehicles, it is wondered whether residents would take advantage if public facilities were available. This paper presents information about some vital aspects of TOD when viewed in suburban communities."
"The current study contributes toward understanding the influence of congestion pricing on commuter behavior by specifically examining what dimensions of commute travel behavior are affected as a response to congestion pricing."
Report that examines traveler trip lengths across transit modes, work trip duration frequency distributions and mode share distributions in 7 major cities, 8 Combined Statistical Areas and one Metropolitan Statisical Area and found the effects of increasing population and transit mdoe gvariety on work trip travel time and travel distance.
"The report examines sustainable supply chains in North America and the role played by rail inter-modal operations in lowering ten-mile fuel and emission costs. It examines whether current systems favor imports over exports - a current complaint from some shippers - and whether the development of inland inter-modal ports offers a solution to moving future freight into and out of large metropolitan areas."
"The main objective of this study was to evaluate the inherent fatigue cracking resistance of asphalt binders in the form of a matrix with rigid particle inclusions. The underlying rational for this approach was to subject the binders to a state of stress that is similar to the one in a full asphalt mixture."
"The main objective of this study is to report the state-of-the-knowledge on parking regulations and practice influencing the planning, design, and implementation of TOD. The report first offers a narrative review of the published works on TOD-Parking. Based on the review findings it then presents a matrix of best parking practices for TOD."
"In the United States, passenger rail has always been less competitive than in other parts of the world due to a number of factors. Many argue that in order for a passenger rail network to be successful major changes in service improvement have to be implemented to make it more desirable to the user. High-speed rail can offer such service improvement. With the current administration's allocation of $$8 billion in its stimulus package for the development of high-speed rail corridors and a number of regions being interested in venturing into such projects it is important that we understand the factors and regulatory structure that needs to exist in order for passenger railroad to be successful. This study aims to review how foreign countries have developed and their railroad systems to identify key factors that have contributed to its successful implementation. An evaluation of the factors, such as organization structure, operation, administration, development and type of funding, that are common to each of these projects will used as performance measures to identify potential locations and opportunities for high speed rail projects in the U.S. Southwest region."
"Using data from an Internet-based survey of residents in three communities in Central Texas-Waco, Temple, and Hillsboro-this research project examined the potential impacts of new intercity passenger rail service on small-or medium-sized communities located in the intermediate area between two larger urban areas that form the endpoints of a federally designated intercity high-speed rail corridor."
"This project evaluated a package delivery truck, beverage delivery truck, and a refuse ruck. The research determined that the additional cost (with current prices) of the hybrid refuse truck was justified, but not for the other two trucks. The social cost of emissions was also estimated to help justify hybrids' implementation. With this information, the rate of hybrid truck adoption was estimated for various policy scenarios. The results indicated that a correctly designed incentive program can greatly increase the rate of hybrid adoption and could be justified by the additional social benefits of emission reduction."
"This report proposes a methodological framework that is aimed at assisting highway agencies with the problem of objectively analyzing policy decisions in terms of the performance goals for their highway networks that would minimize the total transport costs to the society."
"This 2010 study, funded by the Southwest Region University Transportation Center, assesses current regulatory attempts to mitigate climate change and how such proposed action would impact the Texas transportation sector economically. Social and political trends suggest the United States may soon join other United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) countries in drafting substantive, national climate change policy. After providing a brief overview of past and present climate efforts taken both nationally and internationally, this paper explores different economic solutions to address the externalities of fossil fuel emissions. Alternatives include command-and-control regulation, a carbon tax, and a cap-and-trade program. Several factors, including the difficulty of quantifying and constraining greenhouse gas emissions downstream at the vehicle tailpipe, suggest a carbon tax levied upon upstream refiners is the most promising market-based alternative to reduce carbon emissions within the United States's transportation sector. Texas business leaders and lawmakers have repeatedly voiced their disapproval of mandatory national carbon controls over the past decade. A crucial factor why much of the Lone Star State's populace remains opposed to climate change action is Texas leads the nation's energy industry, which is decidedly fossil-fuel based and therefore carbon intensive. Prevailing thought is a carbon tax would only elevate fuel prices increasing the cost of residential and commercial activity heavily dependent on motor vehicles. This paper articulates how greenhouse gas legislation may financially impact transportation within the Lone Star State and concludes with ways energy and environmental policymakers can build consensus within Texas to address the carbon externality."
"This report examines the potential of Texas-based airports, especially Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport and the Houston Airport System, to emerge as international gateways for global trade in general and trans-Pacific trade in particular. The period covered is 2001 to 2006."
"The goal of this research was to identify the most effective and efficient combination of NII technologies for inspecting cargo arriving at U.S. ports. For this purpose, a discrete-event simulation model was developed to simulate the cargo inspection procedure. By simulating the operations of different combinations of NII technologies, the effectiveness and efficiency of the various combinations were evaluated."
"This study aimed to develop prediction models for friction loss and laboratory compaction of asphalt mixtures. In addition, the study evaluated the effect of compaction level and compaction method of skid resistance and the internal structure of asphalt mixtures."
"The first part of this report relies on stated and revealed preference survey results across a sample of U.S. households to first ascertain vehicle acquisition, disposal, and use patterns, and then simulate these for a synthetic population over time. The second part of this report relies on data from the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) to estimate the welfare impacts of carbon taxes and household-level capping of emission (with carbon-credit trading allowed)."
"The main goal of this report is to investigate the impact of commodity price risk on construction cost and the optimal risk hedging of such risks using price adjustment clauses. More specifically, the objective of the report is to develop models that can help highway agencies manage commodity price risks. In this report, weighted least square regression model is used to estimate the risk premium; both univariate and vector time series models are estimated and applied to simulate changes in commodity prices over time, including the effect of correlation; while genetic algorithm is used as a solution approach to a multi-objective optimization formulation. The data set used in this report consists of TxDot bidding data, market-based data including New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) future options data, and Engineering New-Record (ENR) material cost index data. The results of this report suggest that the optimal risk mitigation actions are conditional on owners' risk preferences, correlation among the prices of commodities, and volatility of the market."
"U.S. population growth is predicted to substantially increase over the next 40 years, particularly in areas with large regional economies forecasted to contain over two-thirds of the national economic activity. In Texas, population growth from 200 to 2040 is predicted to increase around 72% and produce a diverse population of some 36 million. This will comprise 12% rural and 88% urban, much of it in the 26 metropolitan areas. These population and economic estimates stimulated the exploration of appropriate planning strategies to address the needs of serving such growth, including a macro approach encapsulated in the term mega-regions. Although some planners are skeptical about whether this concept enhances traditional planning, it does merit examination in the freight transportation sector, which tends to get less emphasis in community and regional planning. Texas has at least one mega-region, and the largest-The Texas Triangle, comprising Dallas/Fort Worth-San Antonio-Houston-generates over 60% of the gross stat product. The project will consider the Texas Triangle with an emphasis on maintaining efficient future freight movement and will offer multimodel solutions to moving freight to , between, and within the metropolitan economies of the mega-region to 2050."
"Traditionally, transportation road networks have been designed for minimal congestion. Unfortunately, such approaches do not guarantee minimal vehicle emissions. Given the negative impacts of vehicle pollutants as well as tighter national air quality standards, it is critical for regions to be able to identify capacity modifications to road networks such that vehicle emission are minimal. This ability combined with land use changes and opportunities for non-auto travel are paramount in helping regions improve air quality."
"The report focuses on analyzing and modeling the physical activity participation levels ( in terms of the number of daily "bouts" or "episodes" of physical activity during a weekend day) of all members of a family jointly."
"Reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is becoming increasingly important in the United States, and new legislation can be expected in the near future that will affect trucks either directly or indirectly. This work is a qualitative examination of operational strategies for reducing fuel consumption from freight trucking, and also compares them with vehicular strategies. A focus is placed on who implements, benefits from, and pays for each strategy, and what type of trucking each strategy is applicable to."
"This thesis seeks to clarify the potential for passenger rail specifically in Texas through comparison and contrast with other regions and nations in the midst of new national-level knowledge and the changing transportation opportunities and challenges facing the state."
"The goal of this project was to team with the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program in local schools to stimulate student awareness of transportation and engineering careers and to encourage interest in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields."
"The objective of this research is to provide a more in-depth evaluation and comparison between centralized and decentralized zoning strategies for the city of Houston, Texas, by developing a simulation model to evaluate the effect of zoning strategies on the productivity and service quality for the ADA paratransit service."
"The aim of this project is to consolidate available knowledge and provide guidance to transportation agencies, specifically MPOs, to help them incorporate performance measurement relating to transportation planning and operations. This research includes a survey of agency practices and agency needs, development of guidance on effective performance measurement and allied issues of strategic planning, goal setting, and data collection."
"The first objective is to develop driving cycles for classified roads incorporating both a vehicle's driving activities and its emission characteristics, using the data collected by Portable Emission Measurement System (PEMS), which was neither available nor has ever been used in developing driving cycles. A comprehensive database is established for the collected data and a sophisticated computer program is developed to generate the specific driving cycles. The second objective is to develop an evaluation approach of driving cycles in which Vehicle Specific Power (VSP), a parameter that can readily connect the driving modes with emissions, is used to evaluate how well the driving cycles can represent the driving and emission characteristics on real roads."
"Researchers first conducted a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art connected-vehicle research and technologies. Once researchers had a thorough understanding of the technology, they focused on selecting and developing the near-term practical applications that use connected vehicle technology. The research team then sought expert opinions from the Texas Transportation Institute working group during two brainstorming sessions, which produced two lists of potential applications and prioritized the applications based on deployment feasibility. In particular, a total of five applications were selected for development of the full concept of operations, including two in safety, two in mobility, and one in environmental security. These applications address various problems, including wrong-way driving and unprotected-grade-crossing crashes (safety): work-zone merge efficiency and safety, and freeway speed harmonization (mobility): and slippery pavement-related crashes (environmental security)."
"The report covers a period of great significance for railroading in the U.S as it contains a number of milestones now shaping the future performance of the industry. The specific subject is improving inter-modal service so that it can support state and regional highway planning, now facing severe financial cut-backs as revenue sources become fully committed to bond servicing, user taxes, loose purchasing power and fuel consumption begins to fall."
"A poroelastic model is developed that can predict stress and strain distributions and, thus, ostensibly damage likelihood in concrete under freezing conditions caused by aggregates with undesirable combinations of geometry and constitutive properties.Sensitivity of the stress distributions to the aggregate and matrix constitutive parameters are assessed to allow improved concrete design."
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