Chris Bischak is a Master’s student in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science and History. Prior to coming to the University of Texas he was a science teacher with Miami-Dade County Public Schools in South Florida. Currently, he works with CM2 researcher Dr. Junfeng Jiao in his Urban Information Lab. His current focus in the Urban Information Lab is on GIS based transportation analysis concerning transportation deserts and gaps in public transportation systems. He also does work on Uber usage and 311 call data.
Chris has worked on two CM2 funded projects. The first CM2 project that Chris has worked on is the transit desert study in the Texas Triangle, which was supported by the CM2 year two award. Building upon Dr. Jiao’s previous transit desert research, Chris made significant contributions to this concept. First, he refined the quantification methods chiefly by identifying new data sources to use and creating more accurate calculation methods. Then he has able to apply this method to 52 cities in the United States which is the largest transit desert research effort to date. Finally, he collaborated with another graduate research assistant to create the transit desert study website, www.transitdeserts.org, which has helped disseminate this research to a wider audience and has led to positive media coverage. As a result, the Transit Desert study received the 2018 CM2 Best Equity Research Project award during the first CM2 Summer Symposium in Philadelphia in June 2018. A paper based on this research has also recently been accepted for presentation at the 2019 TRB conference. Furthermore, Chris developed a spin off student paper, which was selected for presentation at the Managed Lanes TRB Mid-Year Conference in Bellevue Washington in September, 2018.
In addition, he is currently leading a team of undergraduate students and managing a multi-institute CM2 Year 3 research project, “Understanding the Transportation Network Companies (TNC) in Texas Mega regions,” which will help us better understand the local and regional impacts of TNCs. We’re proud to have Chris as our 2018 Outstanding UTC Student of the Year!