The Effects of Transportation Infrastructure Investments on Freight Mobility: a Megaregion Perspective

Megaregions demonstrate strong economic linkages and support extensive internal freight movements amongst their constituent metropolitan areas. (Harrison, et al. 2011) As megaregions continue to grow, the number of freight movements is likely to increase, and new infrastructure or policies will be necessary to accommodate that growth. In 2014, traffic congestion cost urban areas of the United States $160 billion with trucks accounting for a disproportionately large share. (Schrank, et al. 2015) Additionally, the transportation sector causes over a quarter of the United States’ greenhouse gases, oxides of nitrogen, and volatile organic compounds. (United States Environmental Protection Agency 2017) (United States Environmental Protection Agency 2016) Improving the efficiency of freight flows within megaregions therefore has the potential to drastically reduce pollution and congestion. The proposed research will examine innovative strategies to increase the productivity of freight movements from the perspectives of technical, economic, and political feasibility. Specific strategies to be examined include truck-only lanes, autonomous trucking convoys, freight rail electrification, and truck-rail transfer hubs. While all of those strategies are active areas of research, they have not been widely examined in the context of megaregions. The strong linkages within megaregions could create conditions for these strategies to work better than they otherwise would, but the lack of uniform governance throughout megaregions creates challenges for their implementation. As different technologies are developed, there will be significant changes in the efficiency of each freight mode. Additionally, investments in the power grid constantly change the emissions profile of electric vehicles. This research will incorporate predicted efficiency improvements and grid compositions to compare different alternatives.

    Language

    • English

    Project

    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $ 51888
    • Contract Numbers:

      69A3551747135

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      University Transportation Centers Program

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590

      University Transportation Centers Program

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Stearns, Amy

    • Performing Organizations:

      Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions

      University of Texas at Austin
      Austin, TX  United States  78712
    • Principal Investigators:

      Walton, Michael

    • Start Date: 20170901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20180831
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01651011
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747135
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Nov 17 2017 3:35PM