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Levine on team charged with designing innovative, connected public transportation system

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Levine on team charged with designing innovative, connected public transportation system

Taubman College Urban Planning professor Jonathan Levine and doctoral student Jacob Yan will be participating in a new $1.25 million grant researching ways to reinvigorate public transportation and mobility in urban spaces. Louis Merlin, recent UM post-doctoral fellow, will also work on the project from his new post at Florida Atlantic University.  

This project, led by a researcher from Industrial Operations and Engineering, also includes team members from the areas of Information, Emergency Medicine, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science and Information (UM-Dearborn), Computer Science and Engineering, and the UM Transportation Research Institute.  The funding organization, Michigan Institute for Data Science Challenge Initiatives, aims to promote collaborative partnerships between academic, federal and industrial entities.

The project seeks to redesign transit in Southeast Michigan around principles of ubiquitous connectivity, autonomous vehicles, intelligent transportation systems, and asset management systems.  The Urban Planning team will focus on obtaining and understanding baseline data for Southeast Michigan travel demand and usage, conduct surveys to identify current travel behaviors, preferences and desires among low-income populations, and finally look at how the “space-time accessibility” varies depending on income and transportation modality.   Gathering this data will allow for forecasting of travel behavior by specific population criteria, with a long term goal of identifying potential improvements to transit accessibility for underserved groups.