JOIN THE RSG NETWORK

News & Events

07.22.2021

RSG cofounder's watershed study validated using real-world data nearly 50 years later

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.

Click here to read Vice's reporting on KPMG's updated findings »

08.10.2021

Counting Our Communities: Considering LGBTQ+ Identities in Travel Behavior Data Collection & Modeling (Webinar)

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.

About the Webinar

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.

About the Panel

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.

Click here to register for the webinar, which is free and open to the public »

07.19.2021

RSG ridership tool supports $117 billion, 15-year plan for Northeast Corridor

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.

Click here to read the complete C35 Plan »

07.15.2021

RSG welcomes two director-level hires

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.

07.13.2021 - 07.15.2021

TRB Committee on Noise and Vibration (AEP80) 2021 Summer Meeting

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.

Click here to tune in to the AEP80 Summer Meeting »

07.01.2021

RSG's offices reopen

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.

06.25.2021

ActivitySim consortium releases major updates to ActivitySim and PopulationSim

As the lead developer for both ActivitySim and PopulationSim, we're thrilled to announce some recent updates. These updates have made the open-source platform easier to use, faster, and better at forecasting travel. The latest ActivitySim updates included several significant RSG-developed contributions:

  • Estimation integration improvements.
  • A work-from-home model.
  • Several performance enhancements (including improvements to chunking, destination choice presampling for multiple zone system models, use of representative time period logsums for scheduling models, and multithreading and chunking of the accessibility calculator).
  • Additional examples and improvements to example management.
  • Testing and distribution across regions.
  • Several small improvements, bug fixes, and improvements to documentation.

PopulationSim updates included adding support for parallelization (i.e., multiprocessing) to significantly reduce runtimes.

ActivitySim is a state-of-the-practice activity-based modeling platform that is always improving, and RSG and ActivitySim consortium members are currently planning more updates. These include support for transit pass ownership modeling and improved methods for configuring and running the model with available machine memory—to make configuration easier and reduce runtimes.

Click here to learn more about ActivitySim and read our white paper »

06.21.2021 - 06.24.2021

18th Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference on Transportation Planning Applications (AppCon 2021)

We're thrilled to join our clients, colleagues, and collaborators at this year's 18th Transportation Research Board (TRB) Conference on Transportation Planning Applications (AppCon 2021)! The all-virtual event will explore practical applications of transportation planning advances.

RSGers will be leading several breakout sessions during AppCon 2021. Session topics will include commercial vehicle modeling, big data, and travel behavior changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will learn about the application of innovative tools and techniques to address a wide range of planning contexts and challenges.

RSG is a proud silver-level Patron of AppCon 2021.

Click here to learn more about and register for TRB's AppCon 2021 »

06.18.2021

Return to Transit? Surveying Chicago’s Current and Lapsed Transit Riders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic drastically reduced transit ridership across the United States. In response, RSG worked with the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in Chicago on an innovative region-wide survey of current and lapsed transit riders. The findings have been used by RTA, its Service Boards (CTA, Metra, and Pace), and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to better understand their shifting markets throughout the pandemic and to then guide future planning and policymaking as the pandemic recedes.

On Friday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. ET, RSG Consultant Alexander Levin will present an overview of the current and lapsed rider survey methodology and explore the key findings from the study as part of a webinar hosted by Transport Chicago. Alexander's presentation will spotlight the following:

  1. Findings we previously saw anecdotally but now have local survey data to confirm (e.g., who relied on transit during the pandemic).
  2. Findings that tell us where transit use might be going in the Chicago region (e.g., the role of telework).
  3. Findings that tell us what transit agencies can do to encourage a return to transit (e.g., where riders want future investment targeted).

​Transport Chicago is an annual conference dedicated to the mission of improving transportation in the Chicago region and beyond. This year's conference is entirely virtual. It will also feature Donald Shoup as keynote speaker.

Click here to register for the webinar, which is free and open to the public »

05.27.2021

RSG's COVID-19 Transportation Insights Survey marks one year of data collection

RSG's COVID-19 Transportation Insights Survey recently marked one year of data collection since the start of the pandemic.

Since May 2020, our COVID-19 Transportation Insights Survey has collected data from more than 21,000 respondents across 7 survey waves. This nationally representative dataset is now one of the largest sources of longitudinal information on how the pandemic has changed travel in the United States.

The pandemic has raised a seemingly endless array of planning questions. Will telework replace in-office work? Does an effective and readily available vaccine prompt people to travel again? What modes will people favor after the pandemic? For the past year, our findings have helped clients answer these questions—and many more.

RSG plans to conduct at least three additional survey waves before the end of this year. These additional waves will help us chart the emerging contours of what the resumption of travel looks like once more people are vaccinated and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Click here to read more about our findings one year later »