The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced new grants to 32 University Transportation Centers, including $7.7 million to establish the Center for Advanced Multimodal Mobility Solutions and Education (CAMMSE) at UNC Charlotte.
With UNC Charlotte as the lead, CAMMSE will be a multi-institutional center that includes Texas Southern University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University. The U.S. DOT funding will be for five years. The principal investigator for the center is Dr. Wei Fan of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department within UNC Charlotte’s Lee College of Engineering.
“There is much compelling evidence that multimodal transportation plays a key role in the sustainability and efficiency of a transportation system,” Dr. Fan said. “Multimodal transportation is important in attracting people to urban areas, creating communities that are resilient and robust, and improving the overall quality of life.”
Multimodal transportation refers to the integrated network of roads, airports, seaports, rails, transit systems, bicycle and pedestrian trails and walkways. CAMMSE researchers will apply the multimodal term to the movement of people and goods, with the aim of developing innovations to relieve congestion and improve efficiency for both.
Investigators will be working in collaboration with the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). “At UNC Charlotte we have expert faculty and great resources to help the community,” Dr. Fan said. “This center will be very important to the Charlotte area, the great state of North Carolina and the entire Southeast region. We will using our research expertise to solve real-world problems for CATS and NCDOT.”
Other co-investigators from UNC Charlotte who will be involved in CAMMSE include Dr. Marty Kane, Dr. Miguel Pando and Dr. Dave Weggel all of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Dr. Yu Wang of Computer Science.
The UTC grants announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx included total nationwide awards of up to $72.5 million for fiscal year 2016. “Our nation faces unprecedented challenges from population growth, a changing climate and increasing freight volumes,” Foxx said. “Universities are at the forefront of identifying solutions, researching critical emerging issues, and ensuring improved access to opportunity for all Americans.”