Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

Posts categorized under "Events"

SURTC Participating at National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation

SURTC staff will be attending and participating in next week's National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation in Monterey, California. SURTC director Jill Hough, researchers Del Peterson, Jeremy Mattson, and Ranjit Godavarthy, and training coordinator Rob Lynch will each be giving presentations. Jill Hough and Del Peterson will also each be moderating a session, and Rob Lynch will be manning SURTC's booth at the vendor show. Del Peterson served on the conference's planning committee and will also be awarding the winners of the student paper competition. If you are attending the conference, be sure to stop by our booth and say hi or attend our sessions. Below is list of sessions in which SURTC staff are participating.

Speaker Presentation Title Date
Jill Hough Ethics in the Workplace Mon, Oct 27, 10:00-11:30 AM
Jeremy Mattson Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination Mon, Oct 27, 10:00-11:30 AM
Rob Lynch Emergency Management: An Opportunity for Collaborations and Partnerships for Rural Transit Mon, Oct 27, 2:00-3:30 PM
Del Peterson Improving Veteran Mobility in the Northern Plains: Connecting Veterans in Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota to VA Health Care Centers Tues, Oct 28, 10:00-11:30 AM
Ranjit Godavarthy Cost Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit Tues, Oct 28, 4:00-5:30 PM
Moderator Session Date
Del Peterson Communicating with Customers and Communities: Virtual BFFs Tues, Oct 28, 10:00-11:30 AM
Jill Hough Enhancing Livability in Rural America: What It Means In Your State, Region and Community Tues, Oct 28, 4:00-5:30 PM

Upcoming Webcast: Veteran Mobility in Small Urban and Rural Areas

SURTC researcher Del Peterson will be presenting results from his veteran mobility research as part of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) webcast series. The webcast, titled "Veteran Mobility in Small Urban and Rural Areas," will be presented July 10 at 11:00 am central time.

The objective of this study was to identify veterans with mobility needs currently living in rural Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota, and to quantify the cost of feasible transportation options for meeting veteran mobility needs. Special attention was given to the medical transportation of veterans to VA health care centers. This study included a survey of veterans and a simulation of their health care transportation costs.


SURTC staff will be participating in this year's Community Transportation EXPO, being held June 8-13 in St. Paul, MN. Jill Hough, SURTC director, will be presenting "Ethics in Decision Making," and SURTC researcher Del Peterson will be presenting results from a recent study on veterans transportation. Details about their presentations are below:

Speaker: Jill Hough
Presentation title: Ethics in Decision Making
Session: Professional Development Leadership Sessions
Date and time: Wed. June 11, 3:15 pm
Location: RiverCentre, Meeting Room 2

Speaker: Del Peterson
Presentation title: Improving Veteran Mobility in Small Urban and Rural Areas
Session: Veterans Mobility: How VTCLI Has Helped Us Serve our Veterans
Date and time: Wed. June 11, 3:15 pm
Location: RiverCentre, Meeting Room 12

SURTC will also have a booth at the EXPO. Stop by our booth and visit with Rob Lynch, SURTC's training coordinator, and other SURTC staff. Summaries of recent research projects and other SURTC material will be available.

Upcoming Transit ITS Workshop on Data Management

SURTC director Dr. Jill Hough will be facilitating an upcoming Transit ITS Workshop focusing on data management. This workshop is being conducted by the National Transit Institute and will be held July 9-10 in Newark, NJ. The goal of the workshop is to discuss and discover best practices in data management for transit ridership and for open source data, for internal agency consumption and external partner usage.

The workshop will convene three expert panels that will examine "Management of Ridership Data" and "Management of Open Source Data" and will conclude with a roundtable discussion on "Data Management Best Practices." The keynote speaker will be John Inglish, former general manager of the Utah Transit Authority. Additionally, two tour options will provide attendees with access to a special tour of NJ Transit's Newark-Penn Station and the Newark Light Rail Line and Maintenance Facility.

For more details and to register, click on the following link: Transit ITS Workshop – Data Management

March 19 Webinar: Developing Mentorship Programs

Dr. Jill Hough, SURTC director, will be participating in a March 19 webinar hosted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) on Developing Mentorship Programs: Successful Models and Pilots. See the details below.

Webinar Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Broadcast Time: 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern; 1-2:30 p.m. Central; noon-1:30 p.m. Mountain; 11-12:30 pm. Pacific

Webinar Summary: This webinar features success stories about mentorship programs conducted by the academic community in partnership with the public and private sector and an internal mentor program developed by a public transit agency. Dr. Jill Hough provides insights and lessons learned as North Dakota State University students were mentored by nationally recognized industry leaders. Mr. Patrick “Paddy” Gough, Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA), discusses the successes and lessons learned from OCTA’s internal mentor/mentee program developed and rolled out for their staff. This webinar examines how to organize a working program as well as some best practices with testimonials from experienced industry professionals. We welcome Mr. Robert Prince, AECOM, and Ms. Linda Bohlinger, Parsons Brinckerhoff, who will be featured in this webinar.

Registration: Click here to register

Upcoming Webcast: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit

SURTC researchers Ranjit Godavarthy and Jeremy Mattson will be presenting results from their cost-benefit analysis research as part of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) webcast series. The webcast, titled "Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit," will be presented March 20 at 11:00 am central time.

This research estimates the benefits of public transit systems in small urban and rural areas in the United States. A framework is developed which focuses on three main areas of transit benefits most relevant to rural and small urban areas: transportation cost savings, low-cost mobility benefits, and economic benefits from transit operations. This study estimates the cost savings from using transit in place of alternative modes and the significant costs that would result from trips foregone in the absence of transit. Estimated benefits are compared to the costs of providing service to derive benefit-to-cost ratios. Results are presented both nationally and by state to demonstrate the impacts of investments in rural and small urban transit.

Information on how to view the webcast can be found at the CUTR website: View Connection Information

Student Paper Competition at National Conference on Rural Public & Intercity Bus Transportation

Competition for Best Graduate Research Paper
Best Undergraduate Essay

Deadline for Submission
March 7, 2014

The Transportation Research Board Committee on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation hosts a biennial conference in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration, Transportation Research Board, National Rural Transit Assistance Program, American Public Transportation Association, and others. The 2014 conference will be held in Monterey, California on October 26-29.

Part of that conference is a student competition that encourages students in transportation and related fields to submit papers that focus on the 2014 theme of “Setting Our Course for the Future.” There are two competitions: the graduate student competition, which requires submission of a research paper, and the undergraduate student competition, which requires an essay addressing a specific challenge statement related to our theme.

Two winning student papers in each category (graduate and undergraduate) will receive awards, a cash prize and travel expenses to the 2014 conference in Monterey, California.

If you are an advisor or administrator of a program in engineering, economics, business, literature, sociology, medicine, social work, science, or any other discipline in which students are interested in addressing the issues of rural mobility, we ask that you distribute the attached flyers (graduate and/or undergraduate) and encourage them to submit an entry by the March 7, 2014 deadline.

Flyers with more information are below:

For more information, contact Del Peterson, North Dakota State University ( or Pat Weaver, University of Kansas ( Additional details about the conference are available at the conference website.

Dr. Ranjit Godavarthy Wins CUTC Award

Dr. Ranjit Godavarthy, associate research fellow with SURTC, won the Wootan Award for Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation in Policy and Planning from the Council for University Transportation Centers (CUTC). Dr. Godavarthy earned this award for his dissertation, titled “Network and Design Guidelines for Accommodating Large Trucks at Roundabouts," which he completed at Kansas State University. He was presented the award at the CUTC Annual Winter Meeting & Banquet, which took place in conjunction with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on January 11, 2014. Congratulations Ranjit for this prestigious award.

Webinar on Engaging People with Disabilities and Older Adults in Coordinated Planning

SURTC researcher Del Peterson will be participating in a webinar November 22 on engaging people with disabilities and older adults in coordinated planning. He will be presenting results from SURTC research regarding the use of technologies to improve public participation in transportation planning. The webinar is being hosted as part of a project sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Community Living. More information about the webinar is below:

What's Research Got to do with It? Applying Evidence-based Practices to Improve the Participation of People with Disabilities and Older Adults in Coordinated Planning

Learn how evidence-based practices can be incorporated into strategies to engage people with disabilities and older adults in coordinated transportation planning; hear stories from SURTC researchers and ACL catalysts about how evidence-based practices are used in their work; obtain resources to identify evidence-based practices; and learn how to tap into the UTC program and other federal and non-federal resources related to research.


  • Del Peterson, associate research fellow with the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center (SURTC) located at North Dakota State University (NDSU)
  • Crystal Lyons, president of Crystal Fortune Lyons, LLC, and a professional consulting company specializing in disability policy development and DOJ and DOT ADA Title II compliance.
  • Jed Johnson, MSW, MBA, Director, National Veteran Caregiver Training Program, Easter Seals headquarters
  • Full speaker biographies (PDF)(133 KB)

Webinar Information

  • Nov. 22, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Click here to participate in the webinar.

To learn more about the Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Project, visit TransitPlanning4All.

Participation at Louisiana Public Transit Conference

Keven Anderson, coordinator of training and outreach, and researcher Jeremy Mattson are participating in the 2013 Louisiana Public Transit Conference in New Orleans, LA, Nov. 20-22.

Anderson is conducting a session on succession planning and mentoring. Many of the transit managers currently in the industry are at or near retirement age, and most systems have no plans for future managers. In his presentation, Anderson will discuss how to run your transit system as a business and how to grow your current employees through mentor programs to take on more responsibility and continue to grow.

Mattson is giving a presentation on the use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles by small urban and rural transit systems. His presentation will be based on a previous study he conducted which involved a survey of small urban and rural transit operators. This research examined the use of alternative fuels and hybrids by these agencies, satisfaction with these alternatives, problems encountered, reasons for adoption, and deterrents, both perceived and real. Click here to access the report.