Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

Posts categorized under "Events"


Several SURCOM staff members will be participating in the Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting next week in Washington, DC. This includes presentations by Jill Hough and Jeremy Mattson on public transit agencies providing food delivery during the pandemic, grad student Mohsen Momenitabar on designing an electric transit route network, and data scientist Dilip Mistry on the Transit State of Good Repair eTool. SURCOM researchers will also have three poster presentations on emerging mobility adaptations in rural America, predictive modeling for achieving a state of good repair, and the use of crowdsourced data for evaluating bicycle infrastructure. Lastly, SURCOM director Jill Hough is chairing the Rural, Intercity Bus, and Specialized Transportation committee meeting. Below is a list of sessions and meetings in which SURCOM will be participating.


  • Lectern Session 2028, Monday, January 9 8-9:45 a.m. ET Convention Center, 145B, Designing an Electric Transit Route Network Utilizing Energy Storage Technology to Mitigate Annual Demand Charges, Mohsen Momenitabar, Zhila Dehdari Ebrahimi, Jeremy Mattson, & Jill Hough 
  • Lectern Session 3186, Tuesday, January 10, 3:45-5:30 PM ET, Convention Center, 147B, Role of Public Transportation During the COVID-19 Pandemic to Enhance Food Access by the Food Delivery Service in 2020-2021, Hamad Al Qublan, Jeremy Mattson & Jill Hough 
  • AP055 Committee Meeting, Wednesday, January 11, Marriott Marquis, Mint (M4), Transit State of Good Repair eTool demonstration, Dilip Mistry 


  • Poster Session 2054 Monday, January 9, 8 a.m. to 9:45 am ET, Convention Center, Hall A: Understanding Emerging Mobility Adaptation in Rural America, Ranjit Godavarthy & Jill Hough 
  • Poster Session 2166, Monday, January 9, 1:30 – 3:15 PM ET, Convention Center, Hall A, Machine Learning Predictive Model for Small Urban and Rural Transit Systems to Achieve and Maintain Public Transportation Rolling Stock in a State of Good Repair, Dilip Mistry & Jill Hough 
  • Poster Session 3211, Tuesday, January 10, 6-7:30 PM ET, Use of Crowdsourced Data for Evaluating the Effects of Bicycle Facilities and the Built Environment on Bicycle Use in a Small City, Jeremy Mattson, Taraneh Askarzadeh, & Zhila Dehdari Ebrahimi 

Committee Meetings: AP055 Rural, Intercity Bus, and Specialized Transportation

  • Full Committee Meeting, Wednesday, January 11, 8 AM – 12 PM, Marriott Marquis, Mint (M4), Chair, Jill Hough
  • Paratransit Subcommittee Meeting, Monday, January 09 8:00 AM-9:45 AM ET, Marriott Marquis, Treasury (M4), Jill Hough
  • Intercity Bus Transit Subcommittee, Monday, January 09 6:00 PM-7:30 PM ET, Marriott Marquis, Treasury (M4), Jill Hough 

Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility Strategic Plan Webinar

The Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) is hosting a CCAM Strategic Plan webinar on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. CST. Join the webinar to learn about CCAM's recently adopted 2023-2026 CCAM Strategic Plan, resource commitments, and next steps for implementation. This webinar is intended for stakeholders interested in improving transportation coordination, including state and local government entities; national organizations and associations; and agencies that represent CCAM grantees or receive grant funding from a CCAM agency.

CCAM's Strategic Plan highlights recent work conducted by the Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility (SURCOM) regarding food delivery by transit agencies. This research was highlighted under CCAM's goal of addressing CCAM agency policies that impede transportation coordination. The research report and summary can be found at the following link: Food Access and Food Delivery Service: An Exploratory Study for the Role of Public Transportation During the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020-2021.

To register for the webinar or for more information, visit the following link: Webinar Registration.

SURCOM Participating in Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Conference

SURCOM staff are participating in the 24th National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation. This conference is being held October 25-27 online. The conference offers a valuable experience for rural transit and human service transit providers, tribal transit managers, planners, state agency staff, intercity bus operators, consultants, researchers, and trainers. The 2021 conference will include multiple routes to offer learning opportunities in planning, design, and research; policy, funding, and finance; special topics on rural mobility; rural and tribal transportation; and better mobility through technology. Below is a list of sessions in which SURCOM will be participating.

  • Jill Hough is moderating the session "The Census, Population Estimates, and Their Impacts on Funding," October 25, 11:30-1:30 pm CT.
  • Del Peterson is presenting "ITS Technology Usage and Feasibility in Small Urban and Rural Transit" in the session "The Role of Technology in Rural Transit: Ready Set Go," October 25, 11:30-1:30 pm CT.
  • Jeremy Mattson is presenting "Measuring the Benefits of Rural and Small Urban Transit Services in Greater Minnesota" in the session "The Economics and Benefits of Small Urban and Rural Transit," October 26, 9:00-11:00 am CT.
  • Rob Lynch is presenting "eLearning Training for Small Urban, Rural and Tribal Transit Providers" in the session "Train the Trainer: Bootcamp, E-learning and De-Escalation," October 26, 9:00-11:00 am CT.
  • Del Peterson and Jill Hough are giving the student paper awards during the "FTA Administrator and Awards" session, October 26, 11:30-1:30 pm CT.
  • Ranjit Godavarthy is moderating the session "Smart Stuff: Hubs, Networks, Flexibility," October 26, 2:00-4:00 pm CT.
  • Dilip Mistry is presenting "State of Good Repair Predictive Model for Small Urban and Rural Transit System’s Rolling Stock Assets" in the session "Assessment, Planning, and Implementation: Three Important Steps," which is being moderated by Jeremy Mattson, October 26, 2:00-4:00 pm CT.
  • Jill Hough and Jeremy Mattson are presenting "Mobility Services and Needs for North Dakota Residents" in the session "Meeting Needs: Rural Residents, Seniors and National Parks," which is being moderated by Del Peterson, October 27, 11:30-1:30 pm CT.

Webinar – Tribal Transit Needs Indicators and Livability

SURCOM is participating in a webinar hosted by the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) on October 19 from 11:30 am – 12:15 pm CT. This webinar, which will focus on tribal transit and livability in tribal communities, is part of NADTC's Transportation Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lunch & Learn series. SURCOM researchers Ranjit Godavarthy and Jeremy Mattson will provide a summary of the Tribal Transit Study: Demographic Needs Indicators, Funding Needs, and Livability.

This presentation will examine the demographics of tribal communities that relate to transportation needs, geographic characteristics that create challenges in meeting those needs, trends in tribal transit operations and funding and the role of transit in livability and quality of life in tribal communities in the United States.

Click here for more information and to register.

SURCOM Presenting at National Transportation in Indian Country Conference

SURCOM is presenting a session at the 2021 National Transportation in Indian Country Conference (NTICC) on Topics in Tribal Transit Research. This conference is virtual and is being held September 27 – October 1. The SURCOM session is October 1 at 12:30 – 2:00 pm central time. Jeremy Mattson, Ranjit Godavarthy, Jill Hough, and Dilip Mistry will present recent and on-going research related to tribal transit. Topics to be discussed include demographics, livability in tribal communities and transit's role in improving livability, emerging shared-use mobility practices, and access to food. A demonstration will also be given of the new Rural Transit eTool that provides data on rural and tribal transit across the country. Visit the conference website for more information and to register.

Webinar: Suburban and Rural Applications of Automated Vehicles

Join SURCOM as we participate in the virtual Pennsylvania Automated Vehicle Summit Series “Suburban and Rural Applications of Automated Vehicles” webinar on Thursday, August 12th from 1:00 – 2:30 PM CT.

SURCOM director Dr. Jill Hough will be moderating a robust discussion with esteemed panelists on the topic of automation equity. Specifically, the conversation will address mobility solutions for rural areas and automated vehicle applications that could have positive impacts on rural and suburban areas. SURCOM researcher Dr.  Ranjit Godavarthy will be one of the panelists. We hope you can join us to listen and engage in this important dialogue!

Learn more about the PA AV Summit Series at There is no cost to attend, but you must register to receive the link to join at:

SURCOM Presented Research at International Conference on Transport and Health

SURCOM researcher Jeremy Mattson presented results at the International Conference on Transport and Health (ICTH) on June 29 regarding the benefits that rural and small urban transit systems provide by improving access to health care. This virtual conference focused on transport systems and health impacts. Jeremy Mattson's presentation was based on research conducted for the Minnesota Department of Transportation that measured the benefits of rural and small urban transit services in Greater Minnesota. This research, which was published in April 2020, showed that the benefits of providing transit in Greater Minnesota exceed the costs of providing it. The benefits from improving access to health care was found to be the most significant contributor. Visit the link below for the report, summary documents, and a video summary.

Report: Measuring the Economic Benefits of Rural and Small Urban Transit Services in Greater Minnesota

All ICTH sessions were recorded and are available to anyone registered through August 30, 2021. Registration is still available at the link below for those who would like access to the recordings.

Registration for Recorded Sessions: International Conference on Transport & Health

Influence Research in Progress! Participate in an Interactive Data Collection Webinar on How Vehicle Automation Will Impact the Transit Workforce

Automated vehicle technology is already being used in public transit and could have a significant future role: from automated bus yard operations to automated shuttles to even automated bus rapid transit and local bus service. However, there are many uncertainties regarding how automation will be applied and how operational and workforce impacts will be handled. These uncertainties are largely influenced by choices that will be made by industry decision makers.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute research team leading the Transit Cooperative Research Program study, The Effects of Vehicle Automation on the Public Transportation Workforce, is holding two interactive industry webinars to collect data from transportation representatives on the most likely choices that will be made by industry decision makers. (For example, will automated shuttles most likely expand transit service coverage or be used to replace unproductive service? Or both?)

Attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • learn about potential transit automation use cases,
  • hear about likely workforce impacts, and
  • respond to live polls that will influence what options get implemented by the research team when forecasting automation’s impacts on the public transportation workforce.

The webinars are scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST and Thursday, June 18, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. CST. Attend one of these webinars to have your voice heard and to influence this important research! We’re encouraging attendance of transportation industry representatives from all perspectives and backgrounds. To register, visit the webinar homepage and choose one of the scheduled events!

Questions about the research or webinars should be directed to Michael J. Walk, the study’s Principal Investigator, at

Webinar – Impactful Transit Agency and University Collaborations

The West Region Transportation Workforce Center and the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University are hosting a webinar that explores successful collaborations between transit agencies and university students and staff. See details below for more information.

Register Now

Date and Time: Tuesday, November 5, at 11 am PT/Noon MT/1 pm CT/2 pm ET

Overview: How can transit agencies develop the skillsets of the future workforce while improving day-to-day operations? This webinar highlights successful collaborations between transit agencies and university students and faculty that accomplish both goals. Speakers will showcase collaborations that engage students in diverse transit-focused projects, providing students the opportunity to develop and apply knowledge to authentic problems in a real context, while providing agencies with fresh new ideas and focused energy on a task or issue.


  • Shaping the Future Skills Needed to Overcome Challenges
    • Maria Dahmus, Director, University of St. Thomas Sustainable Communities Partnership
    • Kelly Morrell, Commuter Programs Specialist, Metro Transit
  • Building Partnerships that Work for Rural and Regional Transit Systems
    • Julia Castillo, Executive Director, Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency
  • Harnessing Student Capacity to Address Diverse Project Needs
    • Andrew Martin, Development Planner, Lane Transit District


  • West Region Transportation Workforce Center
  • Western Transportation Institute, Montana State University

Webinar – Opportunities for State DOTs (and others) to Encourage Shared-Use Mobility Practices in Rural Areas

Ranjit Godavarthy, SURTC researcher and assistant professor, will be conducting a webinar on shared-use mobility practices in rural areas for the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) as part of the CUTR Transportation Webcast series.

Title: Opportunities for State DOTs (and others) to Encourage Shared-Use Mobility Practices in Rural Area

Date: September 26 at 11:00 am Central Time


Description: Shared-use mobility (SUM) practices are transportation services that are shared among users. SUM can include ‘traditional SUM’ practices such as public transit, taxis, limousines, etc., or ‘technology enabled SUM’ practices such as ridesourcing, carsharing, bikesharing, micortransit services, etc. While SUM practices exist in all size communities, their presence is less prominent in rural communities.

SUM practices have the potential to fill mobility gaps by offering fast, on-demand, and reliable transportation options. Many innovative SUM initiatives are being piloted and implemented in rural communities in conjunction with already-existing rural transit/transportation services and with business models tailored for rural communities. This study investigated various categories of SUM services such as ridesourcing, carsharing, bikesharing, and microtransit service’s applicability in rural communities and determined the potential to supplement and/or complement traditional rural transit/transportation services.

One of the outputs of the study is a five-task rural SUM toolkit for strategies such as ridesourcing, carsharing, bikesharing, microtransit, as well as rural mobility as a service (MaaS) platforms. The rural SUM toolkit can inform state DOTs, regional transportation agencies, rural transit agencies, local governments, human service agencies, and other state and local agencies about the various steps and tasks involved for strategically planning to pilot and implement relevant SUM strategies to meet the unique transportation needs in rural communities. This toolkit can be applicable for small urban communities as well.