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Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

07/01/14

END DATE

05/31/18

FOCUS AREAS

Safety

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, MTC
SPONSORS

Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Jill Bernard Bracy

University of Missouri - St. Louis

Co-Principal Investigator
Ray Mundy

MTC Lead, University of Missouri - St. Louis

About the research

Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois drivers often share each other’s roadways; therefore, it is important to examine similarities and differences in the causes of motor vehicle crashes among the three states. This is especially true in light of a recent National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) report stating that the monetary cost of highway crashes in the US is approximately $900 per person (NHTSA 2014). In order to lower this high cost, it is necessary to have an understanding of the factors that contribute to these crashes. Systematic differences between states’ crash causes can shed light on the effectiveness of these states’ various driver training programs and driver policies, which, in turn, has the potential to make the roadways safer and reduce crash-related expenses.

This study theorizes that Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois have similar crash factors and that crash contributing factors differ as a function of gender, despite the varying size of the states’ populations. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine circumstances contributing to crashes for each state by gender in order to uncover differences and similarities that may provide policy implications.


Funding Sources:
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($20,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($27,000.00)
Total: $47,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/15

END DATE

03/30/18

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, MTC
SPONSORS

Metropolitan St. Louis Taxicab Commission
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Ray Mundy

MTC Lead, University of Missouri - St. Louis

About the research

With the advent of transportation network companies, or TNCs, as they are labeled by the state of California, there has been considerable discussion, legislative action, and lawsuits regarding their attempts to operate without being subject to local taxi, sedan, limousine, or private-for-hire regulations. Indeed, across almost every continent, Uber has attempted to simply disregard local city and airport rules and regulations established for all commercial ground passenger transportation carriers. Uber argues that it is not a transportation company but rather a technology company, and so by definition it is not subject to commercial vehicle regulations. As a result, fierce and expensive legal and legislative battles have been bitterly fought. However, these legal proceedings rarely address just why there are regulations for commercial vehicles and their drivers.

It is therefore incumbent upon public officials to learn from this phenomenon and design a taxi system that provides drivers a fair income opportunity and maximum utilization from vehicles, to offer and maintain a high level of service at reasonable rates to residents and visitors alike. A best guess is that the industry will experience a form of hybrid taxi/TNC type transportation firm that offers both services in competition with national TNC brands for a while, but that ultimately there will be re-regulation and TNCs will be included within the local regulatory framework. There may be an opportunity for statewide or even national taxi/TNC regulations, but as in the past, drivers will be vetted, entry will be restricted, and public safety in the form of commercial liability insurance for all drivers will be standard requirements.


Funding Sources:
Metropolitan St. Louis Taxicab Commission ($25,000.00)
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($20,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($30,000.00)
Total: $75,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/16

END DATE

02/28/18

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, MTC
SPONSORS

Lambert - St. Louis International Airport
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
L. Douglas Smith

About the research

Airside performance at major airports is affected by a large number of interacting factors in three major spheres of airside activity: (1) airport operations control (AOC), (2) maintenance services, and (3) air traffic control (ATC). AOC is responsible for assignment of preferred parking sections (with associated terminal gates). It is also responsible for sending planes to alternative parking spots when there is not a gate available in the preferred section for an arriving aircraft. Maintenance personnel provide turnaround services and deploy tractors for pushbacks at gates and for airlines that require such service. ATC determines how runways are used for arrivals and departures according to wind conditions and coordinates aircraft traffic for safe operation. Smooth operation requires close cooperation among these three spheres of activity. In this report, we describe a discrete-event simulation model and supporting analytical tools designed to help airport planners, operations directors, and air traffic control specialists collaborate in maximizing airside performance.


Funding Sources:
Lambert – St. Louis International Airport ($10,000.00)
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($20,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($20,000.00)
Total: $50,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/16

END DATE

01/31/18

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, MTC
SPONSORS

Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Haitao Li

About the research

The goal of this project was to study the fleet sizing problem in the context of an urban transit system with several unique features: (1) a fleet with a heterogeneous mixture of vehicles; (2) integrated decision support, including acquisition, retirement, and allocation decisions over multiple time periods; and (3) various uncertainties regarding demand for origin-destination (OD) pairs and vehicle efficiency. Over the course of a one-year grant effort, the researchers first developed a deterministic optimization model to minimize the total fleet acquisition and operation costs for all time periods within the planning horizon. Then, a two-stage stochastic programming (SP) model was devised to explicitly cope with uncertainty. The model minimizes the expected total costs by optimizing (1) the here-and-now fleet acquisition and retirement decisions in the first stage and (2) the allocation recourse decisions in the second stage after the random parameters are realized.

The research team collaborated with a local third-party logistics (3PL) company in St. Louis, Missouri, who provided real-world data for this project. Computational studies were conducted to show the benefit of the two-stage SP model by comparing it to the deterministic model using point estimates of random parameters.


Funding Sources:
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($20,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($25,000.00)
Total: $45,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/16

END DATE

11/30/17

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, MTC
SPONSORS

Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
James F. Campbell
Principal Investigator
Donald C. Sweeney II

About the research

Home delivery by drones as an alternative or complement to traditional delivery by trucks is attracting considerable attention from major retailers and services, as well as startups. While drone delivery may offer considerable economic savings, the fundamental issues of how best to deploy drones for home delivery are not well understood. Our research provides a strategic analysis for the design of hybrid truck-drone delivery systems using continuous approximation modeling techniques to derive general insights. We formulated and optimized models of hybrid truck-drone delivery, where truck-based drones make deliveries simultaneously with trucks, and compared their performance to truck-only delivery. Our results suggest that truck-drone delivery can be very advantageous economically in many settings, especially with multiple drones per truck, but the benefits depend strongly on the relative operating costs and marginal stop costs.


Funding Sources:
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($25,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($25,000.00)
Total: $50,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/15

END DATE

06/30/18

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, MTC
SPONSORS

Midwest Transportation Center
Union Pacific Railroad
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Ray Mundy

MTC Lead, University of Missouri - St. Louis

Co-Principal Investigator
Daniel Rust

About the research

A 2014 study from the Conference Board stated that industries with higher concentrations of older workers, specifically the rail and trucking industries, will “be at the highest risk for labor shortages” in the immediate future because so many employees are eligible for retirement. In light of current and looming labor shortages, the number of female field employees in the transportation industry will likely increase as both physical and physiological barriers are identified and addressed.

This research included tracing historical challenges women have faced in becoming railroad operating employees and best practices and demographic industry data. The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis worked closely with two major railroads—one in the United States and another in Canada—to anonymously record employees’ current attitudes regarding women in these traditionally male-dominated operations positions. These railroads agreed to participate in this study in order to help identify sources of potential employment recruitment pools and pinpoint gender-specific barriers in the workplace.

In addition to analyzing trends and challenges of employing women in male-dominated roles, this study considered the economic impact women will make by filling more field positions in transportation, outlined how job vacancies should be marketed to gain the interest of potential female employees, and examined how to implement best practices to promote and foster greater numbers of women in these operational roles.


Funding Sources:
Midwest Transportation Center
Union Pacific Railroad ($25,000.00)
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($25,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($30,000.00)
Total: $80,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/15

END DATE

12/31/15

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, MTC
SPONSORS

Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Ray Mundy

MTC Lead, University of Missouri - St. Louis

About the research

As transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft drive a change in modern transport behaviors, fewer passengers pay for services such as parking or commercial vehicle drop-off at airports, meaning that what once was a primary revenue source for airports now has a tenuous future. Therefore, airports must find a way to counterbalance the revenue losses created by these changes.

One such solution has been on the rise in Great Britain. With airport drop-off and pick-up charges, private vehicles must pay for the convenience of loading or unloading passengers at the airport entrance. Not only does this practice have the potential to generate millions of dollars in annual revenue, but it also offers a remedy for other maladies such as congestion and safety issues on airport roads. This report examines the effects that drop-off and pick-up charges have had in Great Britain and explores what US airports might expect should they too adopt the practice.


Funding Sources:
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($20,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($20,000.00)
Total: $40,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/15

END DATE

12/31/15

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, MTC
SPONSORS

Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Ray Mundy

MTC Lead, University of Missouri - St. Louis

About the research

Since the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has been subsidizing air service to small rural communities through the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. The original intent of the program was to maintain some level of air service to rural communities that would otherwise not have any. The Rural Survival Act of 1996 established the permanence of the EAS program fueled by the idea that reliable air services are vital to local rural economies. This idea is somewhat challenged in recent research studies that found little to no economic impacts of air traffic.

This project entertained the theory that intercity traffic volume, and not air traffic volume alone, is what affects economic outcomes of certain geographical areas. A cost-benefit analysis of substituting subsidized air service with a subsidized ground service is presented and concludes that an intercity ground service network can create substantial cost savings on both a per round trip and round trip-seat basis.


Funding Sources:
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($20,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($20,000.00)
Total: $40,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/15

END DATE

12/31/15

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, MTC
SPONSORS

Midwest Transportation Center
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Ray Mundy

MTC Lead, University of Missouri - St. Louis

About the research

The Merchants Memorial Mississippi Rail Bridge and MacArthur Bridge over the Mississippi River make up the most heavily used Mississippi River rail crossing in the country. A large contributor to the popularity of the Merchants Bridge is its accessibility to all railroads. However, the bridge is 126 years old and in significant need of repair.

Without improvements, the bridge will close in 2034 and all current traffic will be rerouted to longer routes, resulting in hundreds of extra miles traveled and more time spent. Repairing the bridge will cost approximately $250 million for construction, which includes the additional costs of closing the bridge during the repairs.

However, the project is set to generate billions of dollars in cost savings in the coming decades. At a discount rate of 7%, improving the Merchants Bridge will lead to nearly $4.7 billion in net benefits over the next 20 years and approximately $6.6 billion in the next 30 years.

These benefits will not only be realized by the transportation industry, they will help the entire region. Therefore, reconstructing the Merchants Bridge will generate economic benefits that will protect the most heavily used Mississippi River rail crossing and provide sizeable benefits to the public, at large.


Funding Sources:
Midwest Transportation Center
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis ($25,000.00)
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($20,000.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($25,000.00)
Total: $70,000.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

01/01/15

END DATE

06/30/15

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, MTC
SPONSORS

Lambert - St. Louis International Airport
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri - Saint Louis
USDOT/OST-R

Researchers
Principal Investigator
L. Douglas Smith

About the research

Tens of billions of dollars are spent each year worldwide on airport infrastructure to promote safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly operations. Airport layouts, allocations of gates to carriers, and the manner of deploying ground equipment or personnel can dramatically affect passenger delays, fuel consumption, and air and noise pollution. Airport planners require reliable information about how different spheres of airport activity interact and how system performance would change with alterations to physical infrastructure or operating practices.

We developed a discrete-event simulation model that can be used for strategic decisions regarding the provision and effective utilization of infrastructure needed for airside operations at major airports. We calibrated the model with detailed activity data for an entire year, verified its ability to represent essential spheres of activity, and illustrated its application to study system performance under several operating scenarios.


Funding Sources:
Lambert – St. Louis International Airport ($18,000.00)
Midwest Transportation Center
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($22,750.00)
USDOT/OST-R ($27,001.00)
Total: $67,751.00

Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37

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