WTI cruises through the May Commuter Challenge

Another Montana Commuter Challenge is in the books, and WTI made a solid showing in this year’s standings. Logging 781 miles over 98 trips, we just barely missed the top ten, falling in line behind Bangtail Bikes with 101 trips. Together we saved 765.38 lbs of CO2 emissions and burned 38,269 calories. That’s approximately 163 tacos, for something easier to wrap your head around. 😊

Sixty teams participated in the Bozeman Commuter Challenge this year, making up a significant portion of the 171 teams statewide. We’re looking forward to an even bigger crowd next year as we work with businesses and employers around Bozeman to encourage active transportation and sustainable commutes!

Bozeman Commuter Challenge starts today!

Logo for Bozeman Commuter Project with sub text "Rethink Transportation" Text overlays on arrows pointing in opposite directions, imply directions of commute. Background graphic of mountains.Got your bike, walking shoes, or bus schedule ready? May 1 is the first day of the Bozeman Commuter Challenge. Special thanks to the Montana State University News Service for highlighting the event last week in a story on the MSU website.  WTI will use Bike Walk Montana’s Commuter Challenge website to keep track of miles and compete both statewide and locally. It’s not too late to sign up at www.mtcommuterchallenge.org  Look first for the WTI Team and register yourself with our team. The Challenge is open to anyone working in the greater Bozeman area, there is no cost to enter, and participants are eligible to win great prizes from some of Bozeman’s best local businesses. WTI’s Dani Hess was featured in KBZK’s coverage on the event last week. For questions, email Dani Hess at daniellehess@montana.edu

USDOT designates WTI “Beyond Traffic Innovation Center” serving rural areas following competitive process.

Breaking News – WTI named “Beyond Traffic Innovation Center” by USDOT

USDOT designates WTI “Beyond Traffic Innovation Center” serving rural areas following competitive process.
Map indicating Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers

This morning, the US Department of Transportation announced that the Western Transportation Institute has been selected as one of its new “Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers.”  These Centers will build on the Department’s Beyond Traffic 2045 Report, which outlined critical transportation trends for the next 30 years.  According to USDOT, the selected centers were recognized as “forward-thinking and influential institutions that are capable of driving solutions to the challenges identified in Beyond Traffic through research, curriculum, outreach, and other activities.”  WTI is one of only 18 universities nationwide to receive this designation; moreover, it is one of only three centers selected to focus on the mobility challenges in rural areas of the United States.  Watch for updates as we receive more details on our new center!

See U.S. DOT Announcement https://www.transportation.gov/BeyondTraffic

See MSU news announcement http://www.montana.edu

MSU Students take Presentation Awards at I-HEEP Conference

The Highway Engineering Exchange Program (HEEP) is an international organization that promotes advances in transportation engineering through the exchange of knowledge and information technology. The 2016 International HEEP Conference was held September 11-15 in Helena, Montana.

HEEP offers a student competition with cash prizes as part of its Educator Student Participation Program (ESP). Maia Grudzien, an MSU undergraduate in Civil Engineering mentored by Computer Science faculty member Brittany Fasy, took home the top student prize of $1,000 for her presentation on “Safer Roads Tomorrow through Analyzing Today’s Accidents.” Sam Micka, a PhD student in Computer Science mentored by faculty advisor Brendan Mumey, received the second place award of $750 for his presentation on “Efficient Monitor Placement for Multipath Traffic Flows.”

Student presenters provide a 20 minute presentation before the general meeting audience and a judging panel during the IHEEP annual conference. Presenters are evaluated based on their understanding of the subject, the strength of their oral presentations, effective use of presentation aids, professional appearance and demeanor, and their interactions with the audience. Congratulations to our two MSU award winners and their faculty mentors!

Gallatin County Approves Money for Skyline

WTI’s David Kack, Skyline Bus Coordinator, went before the Gallatin County Commision to request $75,000 in support of the bus service connecting Bozeman and Big Sky. Skyline has made budget requests for the last seven years, but never had any funding approved by the Gallatin County Commission. In a split vote, the commission approved a one-time $50,000 expenditure for new buses.
For more details on the meeting, visit http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/county/in-split-vote-gallatin-county-approves-money-for-skyline-bus/article_5bd54909-b034-51c6-957a-d575f63eb8c6.html
And to see David’s interview with KTVM, visit: http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/ktvm/gallatin-co-denies-funding-for-skyline-buses/42999575

Center for Health and Safety Culture Receives Official Designation

The Center for Health and Safety Culture has been approved as an official university center by the Montana State University Board of Regents. Professor Nicholas Ward from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering has been appointed as the Director of the Center.Logo for Health and Safety Culture Center

With this official designation, the Center is pleased to announce the launch of its new website (www.CHSCulture.org). This website includes information about their latest research model for growing positive culture to sustain safe and healthy behaviors in communities.

The new research model to measure, understand, and transform culture is called the Positive Culture Framework (PCF). This framework is grounded in validated models of human social behaviors related to health and safety and considers a broader set of cultural influences in addition to norms. Specifically, the new model has expanded beyond Positive Community Norms to include the most current evidence of cultural factors that influence health and safety behavior.

WTI has Bikes to Share

Need to attend a meeting on campus? Need lunch from Town and Country? Need to run an errand downtown? Need some exercise and fresh air? Hop on a WTI BikeShare bike! The five bike fleet can be found on the bike racks below the WTI building and they are marked with yellow tape or WTI signage. No need to sign them out – just return to the WTI building bike rack. Helmets, pumps, or other tools are available on the 3rd floor if you need them (contact Taylor Lonsdale ex. 7031). Take a break from sitting at your desk and go ride a bike!

Want to learn more more about the Center for Health and Safety Culture (CHSC)?

CHSC is an interdisciplinary center, based at WTI, serving communities and organizations through research, training, and support services to cultivate healthy and safe cultures. The Center publishes quarterly newsletters and occasional news and training announcements. Logo for Health and Safety Culture CenterIf you’d like to stay up-to-date on the Center’s most current communications, please choose to subscribe to the newsletter.

V.I.P. Guest John West – Founder of WTI

Steve Albert and John West (founder of WTI) stand in front of the WTI officesWTI was honored to have John West, founding father of the Western Transportation Institute, visit for the first time in 15 years. John served as Caltrans Deputy Director as well as the Research and Innovation Division Director. He visited the WTI facilities at MSU last week and caught up with Steve Albert and met with Doug Galarus on the One Stop Shop project and with Kelly Green to discuss the importance and significance of culture on traffic safety. John expressed that WTI had not only achieved, but surpassed, his vision of the Institute in both scope and breadth.