Developing an Index for Comparing Sustainability of Statewide Transportation Systems

Funds are requested to complete the final phase of the University of Connecticut University Transportation Center's (UTC's) signature research initiative, the creation of an index that measures sustainable transportation for states. Over the past three years the project has generated several research papers, funded numerous graduate students, and raised the profile of the University of Connecticut as a place of innovative research and education that considers transportation and the built environment as integrated components of the urban fabric. In the final stage of this project, we will finish populating the index with data, and release the index to the policy community via a web-based tool. Our intention is to offer an alternative indicator of transportation to that provided by the Texas Transportation Institute whose focus has been on mobility and congestion reduction. The index contains components that reflect economic, environmental, and social components of transportation that reflect the changing priorities of US policymakers. The index ties very neatly to current administration's focus on energy policy and structural exposure of the US economy to increases in the price of fossil fuels. The recent collaborations between federal agencies responsible for transportation, housing, and energy underscore the timeliness of this index, and should provide us with a high impact opportunity to further the objectives of the University of Connecticut's UTC.