Roads, bridges, bike lanes and other transportation infrastructure are not free. Even so, enhancing our transportation system with projects like these can save significant dollars in the long run. As a transportation economist, calculating the cost benefits of a proposed project is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.
The impact of the recent United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on the energy trade between the United States and Mexico—especially as it relates to transportation and logistics at border crossings—has not yet been fully measured. With so much at stake, understanding the potential impacts of this new agreement is crucial to both countries’ economies.
by Okan Gurbuz
In the past year, the world has undergone an immense transformation in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Complete lockdowns and curfews have been enacted and then lifted to balance mitigating the spread of the disease with keeping economies working. Although a lot is still unknown about COVID-19, one thing is certain: transportation is one way the disease is spread from place to place.
by Okan Gurbuz
When commuting patterns change (as they have amid the COVID-19 pandemic), so do the patterns of land use. With fewer people driving to work or to school, fewer parking spaces are filled, leaving empty reminders of our hefty public and private investment in vehicle storage space. As with any infrastructure asset requiring a large financial outlay, it’s important that we ensure the best return on that investment.
Quick and seamless passage across the U.S.-Mexico border has long been the Holy Grail for any commercial interest whose success depends on transportation efficiency. And for just as long, the safety inspection process at the border has represented the most persistent roadblock to that aspiration.
For years, employees with El Paso’s transit system, Sun Metro, could only wonder how many of their riders use the Paso del Norte point of entry bridge connecting El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Individuals are first admitted through the customs process, and then they walk the few blocks to Sun Metro’s main transit station (called the Downtown Transfer Center) and connect with a bus destined for another part of the city. Until now, Sun Metro could only guess how many of their riders came from Mexico.
The same innovation that could let your car talk to others in the near future could also reduce the time you wait for your new television or fresh produce by making truck safety inspections at the U.S.-Mexico border quicker and more thorough. [Read more…] about Applying Technology to Make Border Crossings Quicker, Safer for Trucks
If you’ve ever visited the Texas-Mexico border during peak crossing times, you know a lot of time is spent waiting to cross. And, as the old saying goes, time is money. That’s particularly true for shippers moving goods and manufacturing materials from point A in Mexico to point B in the United States. [Read more…] about A New, Web-Based Platform to Alleviate Cross-Border Traffic Congestion
Just about everyone these days is connected to the world at large—thanks to technology. It’s because of that technology that our smartphones have the ability to help El Paso’s Sun Metro (the city’s public transportation service) and city planners make the best choices about new routes, additional stops, and other transit decisions that could improve system efficiency in the most cost-effective way possible. That helps cities like El Paso stretch finite resources and public tax dollars to achieve the greatest return on investment for their constituents. [Read more…] about CIITR Team Leverages Technology to Improve Bus Service Operations
In the transportation research business, we use the term “performance measurement” when we measure how a certain aspect of our transportation system is operating. For example, through crash reporting we can tell you with certainty how safe a road is operating, or, through commute times, how well traffic is flowing. Safety and mobility of a roadway are fairly easy to determine. [Read more…] about Taking Border Performance to the Next Level