Here you’ll find links to articles, white papers, reports, and other materials addressing critical issues and challenges in the transportation community, authored by some of the most recognized experts in the industry today. Our insightful data, analysis, and recommendations are innovative and backed by 40 years’ experience providing customized solutions to our public and private clients. The breadth and diversity of our client base, which includes Federal, state, regional, and local agencies; transit agencies; rail operators; port authorities; airports; private-sector operators; and international agencies reflects our dedication and the recognition that we are thought leaders and subject matter experts in the transportation industry.
Transportation Energy Futures (TEF)
Effects of the Built Environment on Transportation: Energy Use, GHG Emissions, and Other Factors
Cambridge Systematics examined the energy implications of the built environment, and identified potential actions the Federal government could take to help shape the built environment. This report reviews and summarizes literature on the relationships between the built environment and transportation-related energy use and GHG emissions, along with effects on economic growth and quality of life. In addition to quantitative findings from published studies, the report contains unpublished perspectives that are based on Cambridge Systematics’ experience. The report’s findings supported a tool, also developed by Cambridge Systematics, to allow the NREL and DOE to evaluate the transportation energy and GHG impacts of urban form scenarios at a national level through 2050.
Effects of Travel Reduction and Efficient Driving on Transportation: Energy Use and GHG Emissions
Cambridge Systematics examined strategies designed to change the behavior of individual drivers or travelers in order to reduce transportation-related energy use and GHG emissions. These strategies include encouraging drivers to reduce the number of trips taken; use other modes of travel, including transit or nonmotorized transportation; and drive more efficiently. Many of these strategies, which have been undertaken since the 1970s, are seeing renewed interest today for energy conservation and GHG mitigation purposes. Others are being enhanced through the use of new technology, such as web-enabled mobile devices to collect real-time data and distribute it to travelers. This report summarizes documented historical findings, as well as recent efforts that had not previously been reported, and highlights and interprets that literature for information most relevant to an energy perspective.
Understanding that the economic forces driving freight demand over the I-81 corridor transcend individual state boundaries, the I-81 partner states are formally cooperating to promote efficient goods movement through the corridor, improve the safety of the traveling public, and encourage economic development. For the six state departments of transportation along the corridor, Cambridge Systematics profiled existing conditions, data gaps, analyses, and recommended next steps for the corridor.
For the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), Cambridge Systematics supported the development of a Practitioner’s Guide to aid transportation professionals in incorporating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions analysis into transportation planning and decision-making. The guide presents a technical framework for conducting GHG analysis, a compendium of tools and data requirements, and an overview of the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of various reduction strategies. Eight short case studies are included to demonstrate the state of the practice by state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and other units of government. Workshops were conducted in four states to test the planning framework and the methods.
For the Virginia Department of Transportation, Cambridge Systematics, as part of a team, updated the Virginia Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). This effort included stakeholder collaboration with the Surface Transportation Safety Executive Committee and forming a new SHSP Steering Committee. Regional outreach focused on conducting and advising on data analysis; and reviewing and selecting emphasis areas, setting goals, objectives, and performance measures. Using the partnership approach to reduce severe injuries on Virginia highways, Cambridge Systematics helped create the emphasis area teams that developed the proposed strategies and detailed action plans for the Plan, and facilitated support from the transportation safety community and the general public.
For the Oregon Department of Transportation (DOT) and its partners, and state, regional, and local agencies, Cambridge Systematics developed the State’s Transportation Strategy to achieve future legislatively mandated targets of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for transportation vehicles. A coordinated effort with the DOT on a variety of concurrent GHG planning activities also included the creation of a GHG Toolkit. Cambridge Systematics developed this on-line resource to help the DOT, the State’s MPOs, and local governments determine what types of actions and programs they can implement to help reduce transportation-related GHG emissions. The toolkit includes a searchable database and provides information on a comprehensive set of transportation actions and strategies, programs, modeling and analysis tools, case studies, and communications strategies. These components can be used together or alone.
For the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Cambridge Systematics led the data assembly and analysis to identify major influences on interregional travel behavior, using a facilitated outreach process consisting of regional and statewide stakeholders, to create a relevant Interim Report. The CIB Interim Report is a component of Caltrans’ CIB process and a requirement of Senate Bill 391. It is intended to support coordinated regional and statewide planning efforts to improve mobility and address greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
For the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Cambridge Systematics led the research to develop and document transferable parameters for long-distance and rural trip-making for use in statewide models. This document is a supplement to the NCHRP Report 716: Travel Demand Forecasting: Parameters and Techniques, which focused on urban travel. This document is intended to be used by state departments of transportation and consultants developing statewide travel forecasting models. The report also is relevant to regional models with significant rural geography or long-distance travel, as well as multistate models. This study included statistical analysis of travel survey data from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), 2001 NHTS, and 1995 American Travel Survey, as well as documentation of model parameters from other relevant studies.
For the Chicago Department of Transportation, Cambridge Systematics led the research to identify and evaluate transit alternatives for improving travel in a study area between State Street and Lake Michigan, extending south from the Central Area to 95th Street. The study area was served by two Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) rail rapid transit lines, local and express CTA buses, and Metra Electric District Commuter trains. The study identified public transportation improvements that will enhance mobility for residents and increase access to jobs and other activities, while also enhancing the economic vitality and quality of life in the many neighborhoods in the study area. The study evaluated the costs and benefits of several transit improvement alternatives in order to recommend projects, programs, and policies that merit more rigorous evaluation. The outcome was a recommendation for comprehensive study of preferred alternatives with an understanding of the potential for a Federal New Starts funding grant.
For the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), Cambridge Systematics led a team of experts who developed technical relationships between highway improvements and travel time reliability. Little was known about how various strategies aimed at improving reliability would quantitatively affect delay and travel-time variability. Such strategies affect incident duration and performance measures such as travel time and travel time variability. This project quantified the effects that reliability improvement strategies have on performance metrics, particularly outcome measures. The results of this study are being used for future SHRP 2 reliability research. In addition to supporting research, the data set represents an excellent model for practitioners to use in developing performance monitoring systems for congestion and reliability.
TRB’s 2012 UTC Spotlight Conference on Sustainable Energy and Transportation: Strategies, Research, and Data was held on Nov. 8-9, 2012, in Washington, DC. Transportation representatives of universities, Federal, state, and local agencies addressed complex and challenging issues concerning sustainable energy and transportation. This document consists of individually authored sections describing recently completed and ongoing research and related activities in this area. Christopher Porter of Cambridge Systematics coauthored two sections – Chapter 17, Built Environment Energy Analysis Tool and Chapter 18, Freight Transportation Energy Analysis Tool – that describe work recently completed by Cambridge Systematics for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop national-level sketch analysis tools for transportation energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
For the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (DOT), Cambridge Systematics developed a statewide coordinated strategic highway safety plan (SHSP) that provides a comprehensive framework and specific goals and objectives for reducing highway fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. Other state initiatives were coordinated into the planning process to ensure the SHSP is consistent with the State’s overall transportation goals and objectives. As an additional feature to help promote the plan and its goal of Toward Zero Deaths, Cambridge Systematics produced a video featuring interviews with residents who were questioned about traffic safety in the State. The plan was signed by Governor Chafee in an official signing ceremony in the State Capitol building. Two additional documents were also prepared including the Rhode Island Highway Safety Plan (HSP), which is a document required by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It outlines the behavioral safety programs, tasks, and initiatives for the coming year and Year-End Evaluation Report that determines how successfully Rhode Island has implemented the previous year’s HSP objectives.
For the Federal Highway Administration, Cambridge Systematics led the development of a guidebook to increase communication, cooperation, and collaboration among Transportation Management Centers (TMC) and emergency response agencies. Included are technical guidance and recommended practices on how TMCs can more effectively work with emergency response agencies on emergency response planning, response, recovery, and post-event review. A series of checklists are provided that will enable TMC managers to evaluate their current status in relation to emergency operations. Also, throughout the publication are photos showing actual emergency events and the role played by the TMC, demonstrating how trust and relationships built up through joint planning and training activities result in better cooperation.
Many factors have contributed to the progress on traffic safety in the U.S., including state requirements to develop a Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). As the SHSP process continues to evolve, the challenge is to keep the goals in focus. Cambridge Systematics’ Transportation Safety Team Members, Pam Beer and Lorrie Laing, along with Jennifer Warren of FHWA, discuss synergies needed to achieve greater gains in traffic safety. Copyright © 2012 National Academy of Sciences. This article is posted with permission of the Transportation Research Board.
The safety workforce faces many challenges, including a lack of trained professionals, limited training opportunities, and the rapid pace of evolving safety knowledge and tools. Susan Herbel, corresponding author and Cambridge Systematics’ Transportation Safety Team Member, discusses a comprehensive approach to generate the resources required to establish a data-driven, multidisciplinary, multimodal safety curriculum. Copyright © 2012 National Academy of Sciences. This article is posted with permission of the Transportation Research Board.
For the I-67 Development Corporation, Cambridge Systematics conducted a Feasibility Study for the development of a proposed limited-access highway corridor (I-67) between Bowling Green, Kentucky and Indianapolis, Indiana. Through a two-step process, Cambridge Systematics assisted in providing a business case for the proposed corridor. The feasibility study process included stakeholder outreach, travel demand estimation to determine potential traffic volumes on the upgraded roadway, and the corresponding impacts on competing roadways, based on both toll-free and tolled scenarios; current traffic safety conditions, an Economic Impact Analysis to identify the potential economic benefits that might be expected as a result of the proposed roadway upgrade; and recommendations for implementation.
TRB’s Transportation Research E-Circular E-C169: Measuring the Transportation System from a Supply Chain Perspective provides a synopsis of the information from a July 2012 workshop that was designed to help advance the understanding of if and how public-sector decision making could be improved by having better supply chain information. This document consists of individually authored sections that represent the viewpoints of the authors. Donald Ludlow of Cambridge Systematics and Scott Drumm of Port of Portland coauthored one of the articles on providing a foundation for public-sector agencies to understand and make the best use of supply chain data in decision making.
For the Michigan Department of Transportation, Cambridge Systematics conducted research to determine what actions can be taken to improve understanding of the new Quick Clearance law, and compliance with it, in order to attain the full mobility and safety benefits of the law. Public surveys were used to identify Michigan drivers' level of awareness of the law and the traveler information sources they use. A workshop and phone interviews were used to obtain information on the views and practices of first responders with regard to the Quick Clearance law. The information collected provided a strong basis for marketing and outreach strategies recommended to accurately and effectively communicate information about the quick clearance law to the motoring public of Michigan.
For the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Cambridge Systematics conducted a series of pilots focused on performance-based planning and programming. The objective of this effort was to produce actionable guidance on implementing performance-based processes. From the three pilots emerged a set of common themes and lessons learned that may be applied by transportation agencies nationwide to advance the state of the practice in performance-based planning and programming. In addition, the pilot participants identified opportunities for subsequent national research and capacity building.
TCRP Report 95, Chapter 16, Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities examines pedestrian and bicyclist behavior and travel demand outcomes. This chapter also focuses on the travel behavior and public health implications of pedestrian/bicycle areawide systems; nonmotorized transportation (NMT)-link facilities such as sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and on-transit accommodation of bicycles; and node-specific facilities such as street-crossing treatments, bicycle parking, and showers. Discussion of the implications of pedestrian and bicycle “friendly” neighborhoods, policies, programs, and promotion is also included in this report.
For the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Cambridge Systematics led a team of experts, who conducted research to expand the base of knowledge regarding the mobile source air toxic (MSAT) impacts of transportation projects, and in particular, to provide additional information to help practitioners understand the degree of MSAT analysis that may be most warranted for transportation projects. Two representative project types – a major highway widening and an intermodal freight terminal – were modeled to compare differences in MSAT impacts between project alternatives and over time, against background levels and identified health risk comparison levels for each pollutant. Both line-source and area-source modeling techniques were used, providing insights into the relative strengths of each approach.
For the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Cambridge Systematics and MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc. assisted with an effort to define a consistent and reliable method for documenting the condition of the nation’s pavement and bridges. The project also included development of a prototype tool that can provide FHWA and state DOTs a more complete picture of the overall health of the roadway network. The research team presented its findings and recommendations at a national meeting entitled, “AASHTO/FHWA Workshop on the Highway Infrastructure Health Assessment Study.” This report summarizes the proceedings from the workshop.
Click on the topic of interest below to view our entire document list.