Micromobility encompasses multiple nonmotorized modes of travel, including bicycles and scooters. As the popularity of these modes has grown, so has the data available to planners. However, without active transportation data and tools to understand the data, agencies cannot make informed decisions related to micromobility infrastructure.
Over the past two years, RSG has been part of a multiagency project in Utah seeking to improve active transportation data collection, curation, and distribution. In light of this experience, RSG Senior Director Ben Stabler, GISP, will participate in an upcoming panel conversation describing our team's work creating the region's first bicycle travel demand model. Attendees will hear from several agencies and learn how the team shared priorities, resources, and expertise.
Who? Ben Stabler, GISP, Senior Director (RSG)
What? Panel webinar discussing active transportation data and tools in Utah.
Where and When? This is an online webinar sponsored by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. It takes place on Wednesday, September 15 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET. The registration link is below.
Two RSG senior consultants will be presenting at this year's Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference on Advancing Transportation Equity.
On Thursday, September 9 at 11:00 a.m. ET, Joann Lynch will deliver a presentation on methods and actions practitioners can use to increase inclusion in travel surveys. Joann's talk is part of a session titled “Measure It, but Who Will Come? Measuring Equity and including Diverse Travel Populations,” which will describe several RSG-led travel survey efforts in Seattle and Minneapolis in the spring of 2021. Each effort employed a combination of equity and inclusion strategies to boost engagement among populations often underrepresented in travel surveys. Her presentation will outline a multipronged approach to improving representation and obtaining equitable, representative datasets. Importantly, attendees will learn how analysis of these efforts can help inform future survey best practices. This will help survey methodologists reach more respondents, including historically underrepresented groups.
On Monday, September 13 at 2:15 p.m. ET, Ted Mansfield, PhD, will present a poster of findings from a comparison of passively collected data (“big data”) with modern transportation survey instruments that emphasize recruitment of hard-to-reach populations across key equity dimensions. Ted's poster session is titled “Measuring Equity, Analysis Approach Metrics.” His poster features a case study on abrupt travel behavior changes measured during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. It shows how programs that combine travel surveys and big data could deliver more representative data. This, in turn, would support more equitable transportation decisions by agencies.
Several other RSGers contributed to attendees' presentation/poster abstracts, including Abigail Rosenson, Rachel Schmidt, and Stephen Lawe. The Conference on Advancing Transportation Equity will occur from September 9 to September 14 and begin at 10:00 a.m. ET on each date with several presentations/poster sessions occurring on each day.
Johanna Zmud, PhD, joins RSG as a Principal and brings 30 years of experience in transportation research, data, technology, and policy. Her recent work has examined public acceptance and socioeconomic impacts of connected and automated vehicles, sociodemographic trends, future travel behavior analysis, and the impacts of technology on society. Johanna's experience and expertise will help us continue to support clients' growing needs around transportation technology and emerging mobility.
Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, the renewable energy market has demonstrated its remarkable resiliency over the past year. In 2020, global investment in clean energy hit $500 billion for the first time. Our noise control engineering services have been integral to the recent approval of six projects totaling nearly 1.5 gigawatts (or 1,500 megawatts) of renewable energy in the United States. The following is a list of renewable energy project approvals in 2021; each of these relied on our noise impact assessment and expert testimony services.
Plum Creek Wind Facility. This 414-megawatt wind project received approval in August 2021 and comprises 74 turbines along with a 31-mile transmission line. The project will generate hundreds of clean energy jobs and tax revenues for local counties.
Nobles Wind Farm. This 201-megawatt wind project received approval in July 2021. This project was unique in that it was an existing wind farm that the facility's operator (Xcel Energy Inc) sought approval to repower. Repowering a wind farm involves replacing the hubs and blades of each turbine.
Emerson Creek Wind Farm. This 297-megawatt wind project received approval in June 2021. Some of the power generated by this facility, which Firelands Wind developed, will power a nearby Google data center.
Morris Ridge Solar Project. This 177-megawatt solar project received approval in June 2021. This facility will help put New York State on the path toward obtaining 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This was also one of the first projects in the state to follow the new “94-C” process designed to speed up approvals of renewable energy projects.
Arche Energy Project. This 107-megawatt solar project received approval in April 2021. Sponsored by 7X Energy, this project will help increase solar capacity in the state of Ohio, which is expected to see rapid growth in its solar energy market over the next five years.
Yellowbud Solar Project. This 274-megawatt solar project received approval in February 2021. Sponsored by Yellowbud Solar LLC, the project is expected to occupy approximately 1,383 acres once complete.
We applaud the continued shift toward clean and renewable energy generation and congratulates each of our clients on receiving final project approval.
RSG cofounder Dennis Meadows was part of a team of MIT researchers who released a groundbreaking environmental study in 1972. Now, new research conducted by KPMG Director Gaya Herrington and published in Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology has confirmed the findings of Meadows's team's study against current real-world data and trends.
The original report documenting Meadows's findings, titled The Limits to Growth, was based on system dynamics modeling of society's resource use and extraction. In it, Meadows's team looked at then-current trends to predict several future scenarios. Importantly, one of these scenarios was a base case the would result in a decline in both industrial and population capacity. The latest research from KPMG confirms the accuracy of Meadows's team's modeling based on current trends.
RSG is leading an industry-first webinar on Tuesday, August 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET to discuss the value and practicalities of collecting data on LGBTQ+ populations as part of travel behavior data collection and modeling. It will be moderated by RSG and comprises a diverse panel of travel behavior experts, community organizers, and academics. The webinar is free and open to the public. Click here to register.
According to Gallup, at least 5.6% of all Americans identify as LGBT. Despite the growing political and social visibility of LGBTQ+ communities, the US Census Bureau does not collect data on individuals’ sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). Moreover, most state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations do not collect similar information as part of routine surveys. The lack of inclusion in most surveys to date has resulted in a persistent underrepresentation of LGBTQ+ populations that often impedes the evaluation of inequities or differences in travel behaviors through an intersectional equity lens.
This moderated panel conversation will discuss research on travel behavior among LGBTQ+ populations. It will also describe current travel behavior survey and modeling practices for historically underserved populations as a whole and offer agency perspectives on surveying LGBTQ+ populations as part of regional travel surveys. Attendees will hear from several industry experts and come away with insights into the benefits and challenges of collecting SOGI data in the context of transportation planning.
Maren Outwater, PE (she/her) (Panel Moderator) is a Principal at RSG. Maren has over 25 years of experience developing forecasting models and over 20 years of progressive experience in managing complex model development efforts. She has led the development of equity impacts for land-use and travel demand forecasting models. This work helps clients understand how land use and transportation investments and policies affect mobility for low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Michael Smart, PhD (he/him/his) is an Associate Professor of urban planning at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Michael has investigated the role of “neighborhoods of affinity” (immigrant enclaves, LGBT neighborhoods) in shaping travel choices. He is currently investigating how transportation helps or hinders people's ability to find and keep a job; the role of free parking in travel behavior decisions; and how major life events spur the acquisition or selling of a family's car(s).
Anita Keahilani Yap (she/her/they) is a Principal at MultiCultural Collaborative. She is a community development racial equity practitioner with over 20 years’ experience working with communities of color and intersectional identities. Anita's nationally and locally recognized work includes designing innovative approaches to community engagement and community development.
Brian H. Y. Lee, PhD (he/him/his) is the Data Solutions and Research Manager at the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC). He is currently leading data support for the Regional Equity Strategy and is the project manager for the development of a regional equity data dashboard.
Mark Bradley (he/him/his) is a Senior Director at RSG. He has over 35 years of progressive experience developing travel demand forecasting methods and tools for clients around the world. Mark is currently leading the performance evaluation of a major federal “Complete Trip” pilot project to test technologies to improve travel accessibility for people with disabilities.
RSG created the ridership demand forecasting tool that supported the development of CONNECT NEC 2035 (C35), a recently released $117 billion blueprint to modernize and improve the Northeast Corridor (NEC). C35 details 150 projects to improve rail service in the NEC over the next 15 years. It has involved multiple agencies and has been overseen by the NEC Commission.
The ridership demand forecasts developed by RSG estimated commuter and intercity ridership using a customized elasticity-based ridership tool. This tool incorporated behaviors embedded in existing ridership models. It included demand sensitivities to travel time, service frequency, and fare prices. The tool's outputs helped C35's planners evaluate ridership changes and improvements that would include corridor-level changes in vehicle and passenger miles traveled, travel time savings, and mode shifts to rail (from auto, air, and bus).
The work proposed in C35, if fully funded and completed, would create 1.7 million new jobs and deliver service improvements. These improvements would include a 26-minute reduction in travel time between Washington, DC, and New York City; riders would also see a 28-minute reduction in travel time between New York City and Boston. Importantly, work will result in fewer delays, new direct and express services, and off-peak and reverse-peak trains.
We are thrilled to welcome two director-level hires who will help us meet the growing client demand for our services.
Jeff Frkonja rejoins RSG as a Senior Director. Jeff brings 20 years of experience in travel forecasting, land-use forecasting, model applications, and related analytics for transportation studies. His planning analytics background and project management expertise will help us continue to deliver innovative transportation planning solutions for clients.
John Olszewski joins RSG as a Director. John brings 21 years of experience as a systems architect, software developer, and project manager. His background as a technologist and researcher will help us ensure our client solutions and product offerings are strategic, actionable, and successful.
On Tuesday, July 13 at 1:45 p.m. ET, RSG Director Dana Lodico, PE, INCE Bd. Cert. will present findings from research she conducted into the validation of noise measurements at tunnel openings using traditional methods in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Traffic Noise Model (TNM) Version 2.5. Her presentation will describe the measurement and modeling methods used and summarize the results of the application of methodologies described in the Transportation Research Board's (TRB's) National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 791: Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM).
Dana's presentation is being delivered during TRB's Committee on Noise and Vibration (AEP80) Summer Meeting. This all-virtual event will occur on July 13 and July 15 and begin at 1:30 p.m. ET on each date. Presentations on July 13 will be followed by information about research to be delivered on July 15. There is no cost to participate in the event.
Today, RSG reopened its offices that were closed in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening comes after a careful review of the health and safety implications and after discussions with individuals across the company.
As part of our reopening, RSG will be leveraging workplace experience software and adopting a hybrid office approach that balances the needs of our employees and clients. This approach prioritizes flexibility, which many of us have come to appreciate while working remotely.
“I’m thrilled to see RSG take this step as our business returns, ” said Stephen Lawe, CEO. “I believe the balance offered by the hybrid model will allow people to reconnect in person while positioning us to continue delivering work that is innovative and actionable for our clients.”
RSG currently maintains six physical workspaces across the United States. These locations will continue to allow us to connect with our clients across diverse markets and geographies.