Welcome to the SMART blog! It’s a dynamic counterpart to SMART’s website, posting-up-to-the-minute sustainable transportation news, events, jobs, and other opportunities from the U.S. and around the world. It also links to innovations, new research, policy updates, related newsletters, inspiring initiatives, and videos that come our way. You can contribute too! Please send relevant information to Kim Seelye. The blog will benefit and grow from your involvement. SMART is a project of University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. MANY THANKS to the FIA Foundation for their generous support of the development of SMART’s blog in the interests of advancing New Mobility implementation. Many thanks also to Ford Motor Company for supporting the development of this blog through its generous ongoing support of SMART.


Road Pricing and Parking Workshop

November 24
Toronto, ON

Traffic congestion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) continues to increase despite unprecedented funding of regional and local transit. With its majority win at the polls in June 2014, the Liberal government has promised to invest another $15 billion over the next 10 years so the GTHA can catch up to other world-class cities. While this new money derived from general and “re-purposed” taxes is very welcome, Canadian and international studies demonstrate that, in the absence of comprehensive mobility pricing policies, new transit and road capacity induce more travel which ultimately leads to more gridlock.

You will learn from these North American experts:

  • Randal Thomas, Program Director, Office of Innovative Partnerships & Alternative Funding, Oregon Department of Transportation, Salem, Oregon, USA
  • Lauren Mattern, SFpark Manager, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, California, USA
  • David Levinson, RP Braun/Center for Transportation Studies Chair in Transportation, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  • Wes Hogman, Interim General Manager, Calgary Parking Authority, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Daniel Fisher, Senior Advisor, Investment Strategy & Project Evaluation, Metrolinx, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Bern Grush, Founder and Chief Scientist, PayBySky Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada

For more information, see http://www.transportfutures.ca/rppworkshop.


AHFE 2015 – Call for Participation

July 26-30
Las Vegas, NV

The conference objective is to provide an international forum for the dissemination and exchange of scientific information on theoretical, generic, and applied areas of ergonomics, including, physical ergonomics, cognitive and neuroergonomics, social and occupational ergonomics, cross-cultural aspects of decision making, ergonomics modeling and usability evaluation, human digital modeling, healthcare and special populations, human factors in oil, gas and nuclear energy industries, human factors in unmanned systems, safety management and human factors, ergonomics in design, affective and pleasurable design, human factors, software, and systems engineering, transportation (road and rail, maritime and aviation), training and human performance, occupational safety management, and the human side of service engineering. This will be accomplished through the following six modes of communication: keynote presentation, parallel sessions, demonstration and poster sessions, tutorials, exhibitions, and meetings of special interest groups.

For more information, see http://www.ahfe2015.org.


Call for Papers: 2015 International Workshop on Intelligent Transportation and Smart City

In recent years, computing technologies have become increasingly important to our society and our daily activities. In particular, the technologies in relation to transportation systems are significant to the development of various applications. It is essential to apply intelligent transportation and smart city technologies to improve their efficiency and effectiveness on both theoretical and practical perspectives. The 1st ITASC was started as a workshop of The International Symposium on Autonomous Decentralized System (ISADS), which was successfully held in Mexico.

For more information, see http://itasc2015.tongji.edu.cn/en/Show.aspx?info_lb=9&info_id=25&flag=9.


Opportunity for High School Students to Research New Mobility in Scandinavia

Scandinavia is home to the smartest and most sustainable cities in the world. Every day – unlike the United States – millions of residents move around these cities without cars. In Copenhagen, more than half of commuters travel about Denmark’s capital by bicycle. Stockholm, too, encourages Swedes to leave their car at home.

Across the region, there are fascinating examples of technological innovations. Scandinavian cities embrace clean trains, trams and buses. Their infrastructure planning prioritizes bike lanes over car traffic. As a result, urban transport in Scandinavia is spectacular to watch, and more importantly, a valuable model for the globe.

On this trip, they’ll explore these cutting-edge cities that are leading the world in smart planning and sustainable transport. Starting in Stockholm, they will frame the challenge of improving transportation back in our home cities — what could work here and what wouldn’t. And they’ll also have fun, soaking up the local culture, midnight sun and Swedish cinnamon rolls.

The trip ends with a visit to the famed Tivoli Garden Amusement Park, by which time they’ll have assembled a plan for bringing more sustainable, better-designed cities home to our communities.

Find out more at http://www.atlasworkshops.com/cities-that-move.


New Report Shows Mounting Evidence of Millennials’ Shift Away from Driving

Author: Phineas Baxandall

A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund and the Frontier Group shows mounting evidence that the Millennial generation’s dramatic shift away from driving is more than temporary. While the 2000s saw a marked decrease in the average number of miles traveled by young Americans, the study explains that those trends appear likely to continue even as the economy improves – in light of the consistency of Millennials’ surveyed preferences, a continued reduction of Millennials driving to work, and the continued decreases in per-capita driving among all Americans.

“Millennials are different from their parents, and those differences aren’t going away,” said Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst at U.S. PIRG and co-author of the report. “After five years of economic growth with stagnant driving, it’s time for federal and state governments to wake up to growing evidence that Millennials don’t want to drive as much as their parents did. This change has big implications and policy makers shouldn’t be asleep at the wheel.”

“Millennials are trying to send a message to policy-makers: We want convenient, walkable neighborhoods with many options for how to get around,” said Tony Dutzik, Senior Analyst at the Frontier Group and co-author of the report. “Unfortunately, many of our nation’s transportation policies work to ensure just the opposite result.”

Read the full story at http://www.uspirg.org/news/usp/new-report-shows-mounting-evidence-millennials%E2%80%99-shift-away-driving.


Millennials in Motion

Over the last decade – after 60-plus years of steady increases – the number of miles driven by the average American has been falling. Young Americans have experienced the greatest changes: driving less; taking transit, biking and walking more; and seeking out places to live in cities and walkable communities where driving is an option, not a necessity.

Academic research, survey results and government data point to a multitude of factors at play in the recent decline in driving among young people: socioeconomic shifts, changes in consumer preferences, technological changes, efforts by state governments and colleges to limit youth driving, and more.

Millennials (those born between 1983 and 2000) are the nation’s largest generation, making their transportation needs particularly important. They have the most to gain or lose from the transportation investment decisions we make today, as they will be affected by those investments for decades to come. If Millennials drive fewer miles than previous generations as they age – and if future generations of young people follow suit – America will have an opportunity to reap the benefits of slower growth in driving. These include reduced traffic congestion, fewer deaths and injuries on the roads, reduced expenditures for highway construction and repair, and less pollution of our air and climate.

Several indicators – including continued decreases in per-capita driving across the whole U.S. population, the continued shift away from the use of cars for commuting by Millennials, and the consistency of Millennials’ stated preferences for housing and transportation – suggest that it is unlikely that the trend toward less driving among Millennials during the 2000s has reversed thus far in the current decade. Moreover, many of the factors that have contributed to the recent decline in driving among young Americans appear likely to last. Now is the time for the nation’s transportation policies to acknowledge, accommodate and support Millennials’ demands for a greater array of transportation choices.

Read the full article at http://uspirg.org/reports/usp/millennials-motion.