News and Events


RSG to help lead ActivitySim learning session

On Monday, September 14 from 1-3 p.m. ET, RSG's Ben Stabler and Joel Freedman will help conduct a learning session on ActivitySim. Sponsored by Zephyr, the session will (1) provide updates on ActivitySim project goals, current work program, regional implementation status, and future plan; and (2) include hands-on instruction on downloading, installing, and running ActivitySim, running scenarios, and summarizing and evaluating results.

RSG has been building ActivitySim for over five years for a consortium of Metropolitan Planning Agencies (MPOs). The ActivitySim project is a multi-agency partnership aiming to advance travel demand forecasting practice and cost-effectiveness through shared development of software tools and shared agency experience. ActivitySim has implemented an open source, Python-based version of this activity-based model using best software development practices and popular data science libraries.

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New White Paper Published: Three Considerations Around Drone Noise and Strategies for Mitigation

The path ahead for drones looks more promising than ever. But as drones take off, noise remains an unresolved issue despite recent research confirming the sound from their operations is uniquely annoying. 

Even with the Integration Pilot Program (IPP), a federal initiative aimed at safely deploying the technology through public-private partnerships, no detailed guidance exists at the federal level to inform drone design or routing with noise in mind. Without a clear regulatory framework, drone flight path modeling offers the greatest promise to commercial drone operators looking to chart a path ahead without jeopardizing the momentum of the moment. 

Want to learn more? Check out our latest white paper that explores three considerations around drone noise and provides a roadmap for how to proactively plan for and mitigate annoyance associated with continuous overhead drone delivery operations.

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Zephyr Panel on Industry Data Standards

Data standards empower collaboration and help provide the infrastructure for building community tools. Tune in today from 2-3:30 PM ET for a Panel on Industry Data Standards, hosted by Zephyr and led by RSG Director Ben Stabler.

The discussion will introduce standards such as Open Matrix (OMX), General Model Network Specification (GMNS), Open Street Map (OSM), General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), and Project Card Standard

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RSG launches national panel survey for insights into travel behavior changes caused by COVID-19

As communities begin to open back up, we wanted to learn how the pandemic will shape the ‚Äúnew normal.‚ÄĚ So, we launched the COVID-19 Transportation Insights Panel‚ÄĒsurveying thousands on their teleworking habits, travel plans, and comfort levels around daily activities.

It’s no surprise that COVID-19 will have lasting effects in all these areas, but it isn’t all what you might expect. Check out some of our surprising initial insights in our first Insight on the panel РRSG’s National Panel Survey Offers Insights Into Travel Behavior Changes Caused by COVID-19.

Agencies interested in participating or those interested in data specific to their region can learn more about the survey on our COVID-19 Transportation Insights Panel page.

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RSG Director to speak on VPR’s Vermont Edition

After his article and recent presentation on the subject, RSG Director Jonathan Slason was invited by Vermont Public Radio (VPR) to join their conversation on telecommuting and working from home after the pandemic. Is remote work here to stay? If it does, what impact will it have on traffic patterns? 

Tune in to Vermont Edition today (May 13) around 1:20 p.m. to hear more.

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New White Paper Published: Forecasting Tools in a Time of Disruption and Uncertainty

Evaluating complex systems to forecast future conditions has never been simple, but disruptive technological changes and outside shocks to the system (like the COVID-19 pandemic) have further challenged practitioners. Strategic models can help.  

Strategic models occupy a unique niche and can flexibly and quickly run hundreds of scenarios, making them ideal for exploring uncertainty in the planning process. These models offer practitioners at state, regional, or local levels capabilities that are normally inaccessible or only possible with significant effort, investment, and expertise. 

Want to learn more? Check out our latest white paper on how strategic models excel as a stand-alone tool or as a complement to other types of modeling. 

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RSG Director to present Facebook Live on Sustainable Transportation Vermont

As an unprecedented amount of people across the country have transitioned to short-term telecommuting, many folks are now left wondering if remote work may be here to stay. Did this simply fuel the adoption of an inevitable change?

Today at 12PM ET Sustainable Transportation Vermont’s (@stvermont) will host a Facebook Live event with RSG Director Jon Slason. He will share the latest research on trends in telecommuting, discuss if it is here to stay, and, if so, how it will impact our transportation system.

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A note from our CEO on COVID-19

Like many of our clients and collaborators, ensuring the well-being of our employees and the continuity of our business operations during the COVID-19 health crisis has been RSG’s top priority over the last month.

On March 13, we set into motion plans to transition to a fully remote workforce to comply with emerging state-mandated stay-at-home orders for nonessential businesses. We’re fortunate to have access to the talented people and technologies required to make the transition to remote work as seamless as possible for our employees and our clients.

At RSG, we‚Äôve always felt it was our responsibility to proactively make a positive and significant impact on our clients and communities. Right now, fulfilling our responsibility means staying put to ‚Äúflatten the curve‚ÄĚ and stop community spread of COVID-19.

But this note isn’t about us. Every day, millions of Americans now wake up to routines disrupted, trips canceled, and workplaces shuttered. For many of these people, the future has never felt so uncertain. In just the last few weeks, I’ve read COVID-19 news stories contemplating the rise in remote work, the renewed importance of drone deliveries, and the popularity of telemedicine. If even a small percentage of these changes stick after COVID-19, our world may look quite different soon.

Unsurprisingly, many of our clients are now asking themselves what the ‚Äúnext normal‚ÄĚ will look like and how soon it will arrive. I find these questions reassuring because they remind us that what we‚Äôre collectively enduring is only temporary. During these temporary challenges, RSG remains as committed as ever to collecting robust data and delivering actionable insights. Understanding behaviors in a complex system has never been an easy undertaking, but COVID-19 further raises the stakes and challenges us to think big.

As the nation continues to fight this battle against COVID-19, we’re seeing unprecedented actions taken by federal and state agencies. Americans are coming together in response.

As always, RSGers will continue to come together, even while working at a distance. As a small, employee-owned company focused on the success of our clients, we truly are in this together.

If you have any questions, or just want to learn more about how we’re thinking about some of the changes brought about by COVID-19, please reach out. We’re just a phone call or email away.

Stay safe and be well,

Stephen Lawe

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RSG-authored article on wind turbine audibility selected as JASA ‚ÄėTechnical Area Pick‚Äô

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) selected an RSG-authored paper as the ‚ÄúTechnical Area Pick‚ÄĚ in the noise category. The paper, titled ‚ÄúWind turbine audibility and noise annoyance in a national U.S. survey: Individual perception and influencing factors‚ÄĚ was co-authored by RSG‚Äôs Ryan Haac, Ken Kaliski, and Matthew Landis. It was part of a multi-disciplinary research effort to evaluate the factors that affect outdoor audibility and noise annoyance of wind turbines.

Interestingly, they found that wind turbine sound level was the most robust predictor of audibility yet only a weak, albeit significant, predictor of noise annoyance. Consistent with international findings, they found that communities in the US are less tolerant of wind turbine noise than other common environmental noise sources.

JASA’s Technical Area Pick honors the best paper published in each category from the last year. As a selected article, access is free through the end of May. Read it in full at

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RSG CEO to share ‚ÄúBehavioral Data: State of the Practice‚ÄĚ

RSG CEO Stephen Lawe is presenting at the¬†Joint Florida Model Task Force & Transportation Data and Analytics Workshop today. The workshop brings together¬†transportation¬†modeling professionals from across the state to¬†discuss¬†statewide modeling standards¬†and¬†model enhancements.¬†Stephen‚Äôs presentation,¬†titled ‚ÄúBehavioral Data: State of the Practice,‚ÄĚ will cover his perspective on the historical and future evolution of travel behavioral data¬†and its implications.¬†¬†

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