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Opportunities and challenges for high-speed rail corridors in Texas

Description: "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."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Walton, C. Michael & Carroll, Todd
Item Type: Report

Partnering with AVID to create transportation scholars

Description: "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."
Date: October 2010
Creator: Jasek, Debbie & Finley, Melisa D.
Item Type: Report

Performance analysis of the "zoning" strategies for Americans with Disabilities Act paratransit services

Description: "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."
Date: August 2010
Creator: Shen, Chung-Wei & Quadrifoglio, Luca
Item Type: Report

Performance measures for metropolitan planning organizations

Description: "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."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Moore, Devin; Ramni, Tara; Norboge, Nicolas & Turnbull, Katherine
Item Type: Report

Portable Emission Measurement System-based approach to developing and evaluating driving cycles for air quality assessment

Description: "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."
Date: April 2010
Creator: Wang, Ziqianli; Shi, Qinyi & Lei, Yu
Item Type: Report

Potential connected vehicle applications to enhance mobility, safety, and environmental security

Description: "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)."
Date: February 2012
Creator: Balke, Kevin N.; Songchitruksa, Praprut. & Zeng, Xiaosi
Item Type: Report

The potential for improving rail international intermodal services in Texas and the Southwest region of the United States

Description: "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."
Date: June 2011
Creator: Blaze, James R. & Harrison, Robert
Item Type: Report

Predicting damage in concrete due to expansive aggregates : modeling to enable sustainable material design

Description: "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."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Grasley, Zachary Charles & Rahman, Syeda
Item Type: Report

Predicting the incremental effects on transit ridership due to Bus-On-Shoulder operations

Description: "Bus-On-Shoulder (BOS) operations are an extremely effective method for increasing the quality of a bus service; allowing for a bus to use a freeway shoulder as a bypass lane not only decreases bus travel time but also increases the bus service's overall performance. BOS has also been found to increase bus ridership. The modern BOS system began in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area almost 20 years ago. Using the extensive data available from Minneapolis-Saint Paul, ridership changes due to BOS operations were explored. The data showed that with 90% confidence, ridership will increase by at least 4.5% and as much as 14.3%. This paper also explores how the citizens of Austin, Texas would respond to a BOS operation on local freeways. A stated preference survey was administered to a sample of Austin commuters. It was determined that potential riders would desire a time savings of 7 or more minutes. Typically it is challenging for persons to accurately predict time savings, therefore it was concluded that for a BOS operation to be successful it was necessary for a there to be a perceived time savings."
Date: August 2010
Creator: Machemehl, Randy B. & Pappas, Elani
Item Type: Report

Prioritization of highway maintenance functions using multi-attribute decision making with fuzzy pairwise comparison

Description: "As is the case for most of the Departments of Transportation in the U.S., the Texas Department of Transportation has been experiencing fluctuations of budget for maintaining and preserving its highway infrastructure over the recent years. If the maintenance budget shortfall lasts for an extended period of time, the condition of the highway network would be harmed directly or indirectly since some maintenance work would be deferred or canceled. Thus, in order to control and minimize the risk caused by maintenance budget reductions, it is important for highway agencies to adjust their maintenance and rehabilitation policies to accommodate budget fluctuations. This thesis presents a methodological framework that helps highway agencies quantify the risks to highway networks, and revise the highway routine maintenance work plans to minimize the impact of budget fluctuations. The proposed methodology aims to assist highway agencies in prioritizing and selecting maintenance functions according to the risk of not performing a specific maintenance activity. Also, this methodology considers the subjective nature of decision makers' assessments, allowing different levels of confidence and different attitudes toward risk to be captured as the uncertainty and imprecision involved in the decision making process. In the case study, the proposed methodology is tested with a set of data obtained from the Texas Department of Transportation. The result is compared with the outcome obtained from the crisp Analytical Hierarchy Process using the same set of data. The outcomes from the two methodologies are very close, validating the effectiveness of prioritizing highway maintenance functions using Multi-Attribute Analysis with Fuzzy Pairwise Comparison."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Zhang, Zhanmin & Liu, Wenxing
Item Type: Report

Quantitative characterization of microstructure of asphalt mixtures

Description: "The main objective of this study was to quantitatively characterize the three dimensional micro-structure of the asphalt binder withing the fine aggregate matrix of an asphalt mixture and compare the influence of binder content, coarse aggregate gradation, and fine aggregate gradation on this micro-structure."
Date: October 2010
Creator: Badgekar, Swapneel; Bhasin, Amit & Izadi, Anoosha
Item Type: Report

Responses of trucking operations to road pricing in central Texas

Description: "The purpose of this study is to identify and quantify how the different segments of the trucking industry would respond to road pricing applications, including traditional toll rads, variably priced toll roads, mixed-use express lane facilities, and truck-only tolled facilities."
Date: October 2010
Creator: Prozzi, Jolanda; Walton, C. Michael & Rutzen, Beatriz
Item Type: Report

Reviewing, analyzing and updating marketing strategies to increase public transit ridership

Description: This report explains that with the fuel prices increasing and environmental impact getting special attention, it is important to increase our knowledge of the best marketing practices to attract riders to public transits. In order to move people to public transit a deeper analysis of the decision variables and a strategy to promote public transit is required.
Date: January 2012
Creator: Lewis, Carol Abek
Item Type: Report

A road pricing methodology for infrastructure cost recovery

Description: "The purpose of this research is to provide a theoretical framework for future commercial vehicle user-changing using real-time vehicle weight and configuration information collected using weigh-in-motion (WIM) systems."
Date: August 2010
Creator: Walton, C. Michael & Conway, Alison J.
Item Type: Report

Robust pricing of transportation networks under uncertainty

Description: "This project will develop these models, which will be suitable either to determine the best pricing policies to maximize revenue or minimize congestion, or to evaluate alternative toll policies according to these metrics."
Date: September 2010
Creator: Gardner, Lauren Marie; Waller, S. Travis & Boyles, Stephen D.
Item Type: Report

Senior automobile crashes and fatalities in Texas : are older Texas drivers safe?

Description: Many factors can contribute to a senior being involved in a traffic accident, i.e. poor vision, declining health, roadway hazards, and declining driving skills, etc. Throughout the U.S., laws are being enacted to ensure that seniors can continue driving without harming themselves or the general public. Katie's Law (H.B. 84) represents an attempt to make roadways safer for senior drivers in Texas. Katie's Law requires that elderly persons age 79 and over must renew their licenses in person at Department of Safety offices. this study examines data from Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT's) accident records during 2003-2008, to determine if enacting Katie's law resulted in a decrease in senior fatalities, Finally, the study ends by looking at additional senior friendly transportation initiatives.
Date: September 2011
Creator: Goodwin, Gwendolyn C. & Price, Anthony
Item Type: Report

Taxiway aircraft traffic analysis at George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Description: "The first part of this report assesses the congestion at George Bush International Airport (IAH) by analyzing taxi times and flight data during different hours of the day. The capacity of IAH is investigated by examining the number of departing flights on the ground. It reveals that IAH is operating close to the capacity most of the time. Since increasing airport capacity can mitigate the congestion, the second part of this report develops a surface operation model based on the analyzed results to achieve this aim."
Date: August 2011
Creator: Yin, Kai; Tian, Chunyu; Wang, Bruce X. & Quadrifoglio, Luca
Item Type: Report

Testing information to improve communication with communities and decision makers

Description: "This work focuses on important concepts in making information available to decision makers and the public, specifically focused on the Transportation Industry. The emphasis is on the PowerPoint presentation and enhancing the message through this medium. Critical elements include adhering to the assigned time limit, incorporating animation, font size, including images, techniques, and preparation. While much information is available on-line about presentations, audiences at too many transportation meetings view substandard presentations, which likely negatively affect understanding and decision-making. Blending available information, focus group feedback and observations yield a foundation for transportation planners in improving presentations to constituents."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Lewis, Carol Abek & Hall, Kadijah
Item Type: Report