California Department of Transportation
 

Modal Research Projects

Part 2 of 2

Title:

Improving Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Connectivity And Access With The Segway Human Transporter And Other Low Impact Mobility Devices.

Description:

The purpose of this research project is to gain a greater understanding of how consumers will respond to the Segway itself, and low-impact devices can act as part of a seamless system that provides door-to-door mobility utilizing transit as the primary mode. The Segway Human Transporter and other low-impact mobility options such as shared bikes, small neighborhood electric vehicles, and full-size cars could be part of a seamless system and promote transit access, providing greater connectivity for people living and working within range of transit stations.

Product:

A business model for providing personal mobility options to the public that will provide connectivity and increased ridership of transit.

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Title:

Increasing Bus Transit Ridership: Dynamics of Density, Land Use, and Population Growth

Description:

This proposal focuses on Ventura Boulevard and Vermont Avenue as a comparative study of two distinctly different, and two of the most heavily subscribed bus transit corridors in the Los Angeles area, with diverse service, ridership, land use, travel, demographic, and socio-economic patterns. For the purposes of this study walkable distance from transit routes and stops will define the width of the transit corridors. Our intent is to compare the demographic, land use, and urban form changes in these corridors. It is our aim to document and understand the underlying dynamics of population growth and density as they relate to transit ridership, and to determine the role of land use and zoning changes corresponding to market response and public policy.

Product:

Increase public transit use.


Title:

Initial Scoping of Bay Area Smart Mobility Corridors & ITS World Congress Platform expo.

Description:

Due to findings from previous research of the Sacramento-Davis Smart Mobility Model Project, this project will identify ideal locations and technologies to demonstrate and evaluate innovative mobility options in real-world settings.

Product:

Identified technologies and pilot projects for evaluation of benefits in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Title:

Innovative Grade Crossing Safety Measures for the San Joaquin Rail Corridor

Description:

Develop a database for tracking the effectiveness of Light Emitting Diode (LED) equipped highway/railroad grade crossing warning lights along the route of the Amtrak "San Joaquin" rail passenger service. Also test a train-mounted video recording device to aid in the analysis of grade crossing conflicts.

Product:

Publish a final report of findings.


Title:

Carlink II Pilot Deployment and Evaluation

Description:

The evaluation of a successful Carlink II pilot project in Palo Alto and to determine its ability and potential to transfer viable smart technologies and business models to other locations.

Product:

Technology development and business models to benefit various market segments.


Title:

National Center of Excellence for Aviation Research - (NEXTOR)

Description:

Industry Partner Program to identify issues of interest to Caltrans' Division of Aeronautics.

Product:

Meeting summaries, Research Agenda Reports, etc.


Title:

Personalized Demand-Responsive Transit Service

Description:

Developing an automated phone system for the first mile travelers to reach a BART station. The field operational test will be conducted during non-commute hours to see if several bus routes can be consolidated and operated efficiently by fewer buses.

Product:

Automated dial up telephone system for transit operator.


Title:

Rural Trip Planning Tool Project

Description:

The objectives of this project are to research available coordinated trip planning systems; select a system for testing along the eastern Sierra corridor; then test and evaluate that system. Multiple rural transit operators will use the trip planning tool for intercity travel, by social service organizations, and by the general public."Multiple" is a key word, for in rural areas trips to regional centers usually require transfers between two or more operators. The envisioned coordination will allow access to schedule, fare and trip-planning information for multiple operators such as regular fixed route service; client-based or "dial-a-ride" service; and connections to Amtrak, Greyhound, and airports.

Product:

Trip planning tool


Title:

Smart Parking Management Pilot project: A Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Parking Demonstration and Research Evaluation

Description:

The proposed smart parking management plan utilizes off-the-shelf technology to inform drivers approaching transit stations about the availability of parking spaces. It will use cost-effective vehicle detectors to count the number of vehicles entering and exiting transit station lots. It will then relay this information to an on-site controller that processes the data, compares it to the known number of parking spaces, and sends the number of available parking spaces to a dynamic sign or signs located near the station. Users will know whether a parking space is immediately available or if there is a nearby lot they should travel to instead. The goal is to encourage transit ridership, lessen driver frustration, and reduce local congestion. Informing potential transit riders about parking availability will ensure that spaces are not needlessly left empty, while reducing users' frustration with their transit-based commute.

Product:

Deliverables include: Increase available parking at transit stations through space sharing Increase flexibility in parking management; Evaluate impact of dynamic messaging; Provide feedback on smart parking management technologies; Assess value pricing potential of premium/guaranteed parking; Evaluate institutional issues of paid parking and space sharing; Assess impact of long-term parking availability with BART user connections to air travel; and Document lessons learned from pilot project.

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Title:

SmartBRT v2.0: Use of Refined Toolset with California Bus Rapid Transit Concepts (Phase II)

Description:

Develop a set of evaluation and visualization tools that can (a) describe local BRT concepts through computer graphics, (b) assess their costs and benefits, (c) aid the design of BRT systems, (d) reduced environmental impact due to reduction in emissions, and (e) increase in transit ridership. SmartBRT is a microsimulation tool, complete with appropriate bus and generic plug-and-play geometric libraries and capable of photo-realistic animation in videotape format showing BRT's in-lane operations at selected analysis sites. To illustrate the usefulness of these tools, an analysis of LACMTA's Willshire-Whittier Route will be used. The analysis will highlight certain performance measures, e.g., throughput and travel time, and contrast current performance with projected performance under BRT.

Product:

Deliverables include: 1. Provision of SmartBRT v2.0 per any modifications made within the scope of this contract, within 60 days of contract completion. Executable software (provided on a CD with Autorun capability), Users' manual, and technical report documenting constituent models will be provided. 2. Technical report documenting site-specific SmartBRT analysis and any other off-line BRT analyses conducted during the course of this contract, within 60 days of contract completion. 3. Software Documentation. The Software Documentation shall include a flowchart of files and functions, function descriptions, and list of all files with their functions.


Title:

Transit Bus Collision Warning Systems integration - (CWSI)

Description:

Partnership between the Pennsylvania DOT, San Mateo Transit, et al to develop a collision warning system for transit buses. Field testing, Specification development.

Product:

Requirement specifications for a Collision Warning System, installation of CWS on two buses, demonstrations of the CWS, and a final report.


Title:

Zebra Battery Propulsion System for Transit Vehicles

Description:

The intent is to develop an advanced electric propulsion system employing a Zebra battery and integrated fast-charge capability. The maintenance free battery propulsion system will increase range and power to be nearly comparable to diesel. Due to comparative range, the number of vehicles that can be replaced using this system equates to a conversion of nearly 68% of the diesel fleet to non-polluting electric power. This project intends to attract additional transit ridership by providing a clean and quiet transit experience. This project will meet the transportation conformity requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAA) of 1990, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991, and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).

Product:

Procurement Standards for an electric propulsion system on buses, including charge management protocol and safety system in accordance with SAE Surface Vehicle Information Report J2344, "Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Safety."


Title:

Transportation Needs with ITS Applications for California's National Parks

Description:

Developing strategy for separate"ITS early winner" projects in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. After the field operational test the local champions will deploy the ITS technology in the separate park. Also, this project provides for scooping of rural transportation problems generally and strategies for addressing them.

Product:

A Strategic Deployment Plan for California's National Parks with an introductory video describing ITS solutions for the Parks transportation needs.


Title:

Amber Alert Policy: Laboratory Experiments to Improve a Policy

Description:

We propose a laboratory study to examine the ability of drivers to acquire the message without the need to slow while passing by. Abbreviations, compacting of text, optimization of presentations that require two screens of information, are a few of many possible strategies that we can study. The outlines of a field operational test of what the lab study reveals will be contained in a report that will be delivered to both agencies upon completion of the work.

Product:

We expect that the results of our laboratory testing will add to knowledge in ways that can be helpful in devising an efficient and useful Amber Alert communication protocol. We plan to learn what the minimal information content of the AA message must be and to develop a general specification for how it should be encoded on the highway signs where it is presently displayed. We also plan to devise a plan for a field test of the protocol at two matched locations on California highways where congestion adjacent to a VMS sign can be quantified by existing sensing technology. It is to be hoped that Caltrans would officially support such a subsequent study.


Title:

Experiments to Increase Freeway Merge Capacity

Description:

Ramp metering strategies that increase the capacity of a freeway/on-ramp merge will be designed and tested. To these ends, we will build upon some preliminary studies of a merge in San Diego, California. Observations indicate that vehicle slowing and lane-changing maneuvers can diminish the capacity of this merge by 8 to 10 percent. The observations further show that these deleterious slowing and lane-changing effects occur when inflows to the merge become too high. The research will explore how on-ramp metering might mitigate these deleterious effects. In this way, we expect to establish traffic management policies that reduce overall commuter delay at the merge. Further, the work will set the stage for future efforts to develop delay-saving policies that do not merely favor the major traffic stream to the detriment of the other, but instead involve the management of both inflow streams in a more equitable manner. The work should also advance the theory of traffic flow at merges.

Product:

Advancements in both theory and the management of merges. Improved theory would be useful for predicting future operating conditions at a merge. The traffic management policies that result from this work will save commuter delay and queuing, along with the excess fuel consumption and engine emissions associated with congestion. The work will also provide the foundation needed for future experimental studies to develop equitable traffic control policies that increase merge capacity by restricting both the freeway and the on-ramp inflow streams.


Title:

WTI's evaluation of California/Oregon Advanced Transportation Systems (COATS) projects.

Description:

Evaluation of rural Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies on how effective they are in improving safety and mobility. The COATS Showcase projects include the following types of integrated ITS elements: 1. advanced rural technology integration centers (ARTIC), which serve as transportation centers 2. variable message centers 3. road weather information systems 4. closed-circuit television cameras 5. highway advisory radios 6. advanced vehicle detection systems, including microwave/radar and video 7. spot warning systems, such as slide detection

Product:

Curve warning, icy curve warning, and over width/length vehicles info to dynamic message signs


Title:

Improved Grade Crossing Safety with In-Pavement Warning Lights

Description:

Research is to study an alternative method of active safety warning system at Highway/Railroad grade crossings. Both laboratory testing and a test installation will be utilized.

Product:

A prototype grade crossing warning system.