It has been nearly one year since the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) selected The University of Texas at Austin as the lead institution for a Tier 1 University Transportation Center (UTC). The UT Austin team of faculty and student researchers gathered on December 1, 2017 to celebrate this anniversary and present ongoing research projects for the five-year Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2) consortium.
A “megaregion” describes the area formed through the combination of metropolitan regions where governments of multiple cities, counties, and/or states have overlapping interests. Using the Texas Triangle megaregion (comprising of Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio) as a backdrop, CM2-funded researchers at UT explore critical research priorities that stem from DOT’s FAST Act of 2015: improving mobility of people and goods and reducing congestion.
To research these critical topics, UTSOA has teamed up with the Center for Transportation Research (CTR) to form UT’s interdisciplinary group of professors and students that work on CM2 projects. At the anniversary event, researchers presented their work in the fields of Community and Regional Planning, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Law. The CM2 projects explore megaregion commuting patterns, challenges in transit oriented development, freight mobility, metropolitan planning organization (MPO) structures and alignment, fair housing, policy for transportation funding, Building Information Modeling software for transit hub architecture, DSTAP network modeling, crowdsourcing for public participation in transportation planning, anticipated rise in long distance trips through vehicle automation, and transit deserts, bike sharing ridership, and temporal and spatial patterns of B-cycle data.