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Transportation 101 - Introduction To Transportation Infrastructure

Sustainable Transportation Curriculum for Universities

Slide 1

INVEST - Sustainable Highways Self-Evaluation Tool (logo).

Transportation 101: Introduction to Transportation Infrastructure

Slide 2

Defining Transportation

  • Transportation broadly refers to the movement of people and goods
  • Transportation systems include:
    • People/goods being moved
    • Vehicles transporting them
    • Physical infrastructure (e.g., roadways, railways, terminals, and stations)
    • Operations that facilitate the movement
Multi-level highway interchange.

Slide 3

Transportation Infrastructure Components and Terminology

Cycling Infrastructure
Right of Way
Last Mile

Slide 4

Development and Operation of Transportation Infrastructure

  • Transportation system infrastructure and services are usually developed and managed by multiple (mostly public-sector) entities
  • These entities operate under a governance framework specific to their nation or region. Decision making occurs within this context.
  • While approaches to transportation decision making vary, they generally aim to achieve certain higher-level goals or objectives.

Slide 5

Transportation Agency Roles and Responsibilities

In the United States, several agencies are responsible for transportation at the federal, state, regional, and local levels

Funding for most transportation capital investment projects is from federal sources

Planning is conducted at the state and regional/local level following applicable federal regulations and guidance

Decision making occurs at the local level to reflect needs and priorities of communities and stakeholders

Slide 6

Transportation Planning and Delivery Process


  1. Identify goals/problems to be solved
  2. Identify options or solutions
  3. Prioritize and select from options
  4. Implement
  5. Monitor/evaluate

Slide 7

Transportation Planning and Delivery Process

The image represents the Transportation Planning Process from the FHWA Transportation Planning Briefing Book. It represents a cyclical process, starting with establishing regional vision and goals, identifying alternate improvement strategies, evaluation and prioritization, development of transportation plan followed by transportation improvement <abbr class='tooltip' title='A combination of policies, processes, procedures and practices that comprise how an agency accomplishes its goals.' >programs</abbr>, then project development and systems operations.

Source: The Transportation Planning Briefing Book. Federal Highway Administration.

Slide 8

Transportation Project Life Cycle

Long-range transportation planning
Develop a vision for transportation investments
Leads to.

Short-range transportation planning
Use capital programming to match priority projects with funds
Leads to.

Project-level planning
Identify project needs, community concerns, and potential solutions
Leads to.

Project-level environmental review
Elaborate review to consider the impact on the environment, guided by regulations
Leads to.

Design, land acquisition, and permitting
Prepare engineering plans, purchase right of way, and obtain permits
Leads to.

Construction, maintenance, and operations
Build it and keep it working

Slide 9

Infrastructure Needs and Challenges

Adequate infrastructure is fundamental to transportation systems.

Illustration showing several aspects and modes of transportation: air travel; truck, ship, train shipping; roads; and bridges.

Slide 10

Current Trends and Challenges

  • There are several trends in transportation driving unprecedented change
    • Mobility Transformation
    • Electrification
    • Connectivity
    • Autonomy
  • Each has challenges for infrastructure
  • Climate change, sustainability, and resilience also remain global issues

Slide 11

Key Trend #1: Mobility Transformation

Changes in our travel choices and the way people access and utilize transportation options, goods, and services

Graphic illustration of a person making travel choices to reach a specific destination based on the information and travel modes available to him.

Source: Mobility Innovation Outpacing Policy, Report Finds. Sarah Wray, SmartCitiesWorld.

Slide 12

Key Trend #2: Electrification

Electrification is increasingly seen as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector

Hand-made sign stating, 'There's no planet B.'

Slide 13

Key Trend #3: Connectivity

A connected vehicle (CV) has various communication devices (embedded or portable) that enable in-car connectivity with other devices

The image represents the C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) connectivity, which gives the vehicle ability to communicate with each other, pedestrians, roadway infrastructure and to the network.

Source: How C-V2X in 5G Will Transform Cars and Save Lives (Analyst Angle). Keith Mallinson, RCR Wireless News.

Slide 14

Key Trend #4: Autonomy

Automated vehicles (AVs) represent a switching of the responsibility for the driving task from human to machine

Society of Automotive Engineers Levels of Driving Automation
(Adapted from SAEJ3016TM)

Diagram of the six levels of driving automation.  The lower levels (1, 2, and 3) are termed 'driver support features' because the human is driving even if the features are engaged.  The higher levels (3, 4, and 5) represent 'automated driving features' because the human is not driving if the features are engaged.

Source: SAE International.

Slide 15

Planning for the Future of Transportation

Mobility Transformation
Ensure safe, multimodal, equitable access

Provision of charging infrastructure, moving beyond home-based charging

Upgrading roadway infrastructure with digital communications infrastructure

Adapting infrastructure designed for human drivers to handle autonomous vehicles as well as both humans and AVs at the same time

Cross-Cutting Considerations of Climate Change and Resiliency

Slide 16

Future Scenarios and Outlook

Crisis World
Acute events and transportation disasters exacerbate problems due to climate change

Mega World
The gradual and continuous concentration of the population and economic activity into megaregions

Suburban World
Gradual decentralization to small towns, suburbs, and areas outside the megaregions

Wonder World
High economic growth and numerous technology breakthroughs

Green World
Radical shift in favor of a green and sustainable future

Source: NCHRP Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 4: Sustainability as an Organizing Principle for Transportation Agencies. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Slide 17 [end]

Transportation 101: Introduction to Transportation Infrastructure





Transportation 101 - Introduction to Transportation Infrastructure

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Transportation 101 - Introduction To Transportation Infrastructure

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