WTI researchers Natalie Villwock-Witte, Karalyn Clouser, Jaime Sullivan, and David Kack have embarked on an FHWA task order project to explore the relationship between socio-economics, infrastructure, and travel behavior in rural communities. “Emerging Technologies and Opportunities for Improved Mobility and Safety for Rural Areas” will evaluate potential applications of new transportation modes and advanced technologies to address the unique transportation needs in small communities and rural areas.
The research team includes the Cadmus Group (project lead), WTI, and EBP-US (formerly the EDR Group). WTI’s role will encompass tasks to describe the rural landscape, define unmet transportation needs, identify potential strategies to address the unmet needs, and develop case studies. “New transportation options such as shared mobility and connected vehicles are transforming transportation in urban and suburban settings,” said Natalie; “we’re excited to explore which ones can be successfully implemented in rural areas and how they can have economic and quality of life benefits for residents.” Karalyn added that the project also addresses the varying definitions for “rural” throughout transportation research: “Another important benefit is the opportunity to develop a consistent, data-driven description of rural that can be applied to other projects in the future.” As the project progresses, future information will be posted available on the WTI website project page.