Coming Home to New Orleans

Karl Seidman new book, Coming Home to New Orleans, documents grassroots rebuilding efforts in New Orleans neighborhoods after hurricane Katrina, and draws lessons on their contribution to the post-disaster recovery of cities.    The book summarizes Katrina's impact and the planning and public sector recovery policies that set the context for neighborhood recovery and presents and analyzes rebuilding for six New Orleans neighborhoods.

Smart Device and Travel Time Use

This research investigates the usage of smart devices and time at bus stops and on buses in Vancouver, Canada. Using passive observations and self-reported surveys mainly from college students, the majority of passengers were found to use their travel time actively. Most of the observed active activities are associated with the usage of smart devices. However, while the possession of smart devices is prevalent, less than one third of passengers used them during travel.

Open Positions

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Estimating a Rail Passenger Trip Origin-Destination Matrix Using Automatic Data Collection Systems

Automatic data collection (ADC) systems are becoming increasingly common in transit systems throughout the world. Although these ADC systems are often designed to support specific fairly narrow functions, the resulting data can have wide-ranging application, well beyond their design purpose. This paper illustrates the potential that ADC systems can provide transit agencies with new rich data sources at low marginal cost, as well as the critical gap between what ADC systems directly offer and what is needed in practice in transit agencies.

Unified estimator for excess journey time

Excess journey time (EJT), the difference between actual passenger journey times and journey times implied by the published timetable, strikes a useful balance between the passenger's and operator's perspectives of public transport service quality. Using smartcard data, this paper tried to characterize transit service quality with EJT under heterogeneous incidence behavior (arrival at boarding stations). A rigorous framework was established for analyzing EJT, in particular for reasoning about passenger’ journey time standards as implied by varying incidence behavior.

MIT Team Wins "Better Buildings Case Competition" (again)

The US Dept of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge is an effort to reduce the energy use of commercial buildings by 20% by 2020 by catalyzing private-sector investment and innovation.  DOE and its “Challenge Partners” are developing replicable solutions to the barriers faced by building owners as they adopt energy efficient practices in their commercial building stocks.