PacTrans News and Events

  • January 15, 2013

    Region 10 Transportation Consortium Reception at the TRB

    When: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
    Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C. at the Stone’s Throw Restaurant and Bar

    View the PDF here

    The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans), in partnership with AUTC, TranLIVE and OTREC, invites you to a reception for friends and alumni during the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 92nd Annual Meeting. For more information, please contact:

  • November 14, 2012

    PacTrans Seminar Series: Calibration of Micro-Simulation Models Using ITS Data: Lessons Learned

    When: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
    Where: In UW Seattle Campus - HUB 332

    View the PDF here

    In order for a traffic micro-simulation model to be effective, it must be able to replicate both supply and demand characteristics, as well as their interaction. That is, the simulation model must be properly calibrated. The recent widespread deployment of ITS in North America has provided an opportunity to obtain significant amounts of traffic related data on a point, link, and trip basis. In addition, there has been a corresponding increase in the quality and quantity of micro-simulation models that can be used to model transportation systems. A methodology for calibrating traffic micro-simulation models so that the simulation results, such as travel time, represent the observed distributions obtained from the field will be presented. The focus of the talk will be on lessons learned from various calibration-related research projects over the past ten years. The seminar will conclude with a discussion of current and future research initiatives in this area.

  • October 24, 2012

    PacTrans Seminar Series: Discrete Choice Analysis for Travelers: A Semi-parametric Approach

    When: October 24, 2012 from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
    Where: More 234

    Professor Baibing Li from Loughborough University of UK will visit the University of Washington and deliver a seminar talk on campus. You are cordially invited to join his seminar.

    Discrete choice modelling is a widely used econometric approach to analyse the behaviour of travellers. The multinomial logit model is one of the most commonly used models in discrete choice analysis. This research develops a new model, semi-parametric multinomial logit model. The developed model links travellers’ attributes and alternatives to the choice probabilities via a sensitivity function. This sensitivity function reflects the degree of travellers’ sensitivity to the changes in the travelling costs. A Bayesian approach is investigated to draw statistical inference for the semi-parametric logit model. An empirical study on travellers’ value of time that involves stated preferences about two train-related alternatives and two bus-related alternatives is conducted to illustrate the developed model.

    Short Bio of Professor Li:
    Baibing Li is a professor in business statistics & management science at Loughborough University, U.K. He received the Ph.D. degree from the Management School, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, and a Research Associate with Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. In 2001, he was appointed as a Lecturer in statistics at School of Mathematics & Statistics, Newcastle University. In 2004, he moved to the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, U.K., as a Lecturer, where he was subsequently appointed as a Reader and a Professor. His current research interests are Bayesian statistical modelling and forecasting for Gaussian and non-Gaussian dynamic problems in various management areas. In recent years, much of his work has also involved transport and traffic management such as transportation demand analysis, travel behaviour modelling, and intelligent transportation systems. Professor Li is a member of the Royal Statistical Society.

  • October 29, 2012

    PacTrans External Advisory Board Meets

    The PacTrans External Advisory Board (EAB) met on the UW campus on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 for the very first time. The EAB, which will meet twice a year, will help review PacTrans activities and provide advice and vision on strategic directions. Members of the EAB include directors from the research office of the state DOTs in Region 10 and representatives from other transportation agencies, private industries, and communities.

  • August 24, 2012

    Cathy Xiaoyue Liu Receives 2012 Daniel B. Fambro Student Paper Award


    Cathy Liu, a PhD student in the STAR Lab, won the ITE's 2012 Daniel B. Fambro Student Paper Award. Her paper was selected as the best student paper by the Western ITE last month and will be advanced to compete for the national award. The Daniel B. Fambro Student Paper Award is awarded annually for a significant paper prepared by a student member of the Institute. Submissions are evaluated based on originality, significance, scope & format, validity, and applicability.

  • June 3, 2012

    Mr. Runze Yu, a Ph.D. candidate from CEE, was selected as a 2012 Eno Fellow

    Mr. Runze Yu, a Ph.D. candidate from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, was invited as this year’s Eno Fellow to attend the 20th Annual Eno Leadership Development Conference in Washington, D.C.

    Every year 19 top graduate students in transportation-related fields are selected across the nation from a highly competitive application pool and honorably distinguished as Eno Follows. Runze spent an intensive week in early June meeting with top Executive Branch and Congressional officials including the Secretary of U.S. DOT, industry executives, and non-profit leaders to learn how the nation’s transportation policies are debated, adopted and applied on a national basis. Runze was nominated by the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) and he is the manager of the University of Washington STAR Lab under the supervision of Professor Yinhai Wang. Currently, Runze is working on his Ph.D. dissertation exploring a methodological framework to understand the distributive pattern of long distance passenger flows, to facilitate national policy and investment decisions.

    The Eno Transportation Foundation was founded in 1921 by William Phelps Eno (1859–1945, who pioneered the field of traffic management in the United States and Europe. The Foundation is now a non-partisan think-tank focusing on all modes of transportation with the mission of cultivating creative and visionary leadership and supporting activities in three areas: professional development programs, policy forums, and publications.

  • June 1, 2012

    The Car of the Future: Do Drivers Know How to Adapt to New Technology?

    A strategic outreach series hosted by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration


    Technological advances are changing the nature of driving. Many of these innovations are designed to increase driver safety by simplifying tasks and user demands in safety-critical situations. An effect that is not anticipated by system designers is that driver's behavior may change, adapting in unforeseen ways that may either enhance or compromise the potential benefits of the system. This effect, identified by some researchers as behavioral adaptation, can have profound impacts on driving performance, system effectiveness, and overall safety. A system that is designed with the intended purpose of increasing or maintaining safety will fail if adaptation negates the intended outcome. This presentation discusses the observed safety impacts of several in-vehicle systems and what needs to be considered in terms of education, design, and policies for the car of the future.

    Sponsored by: Research and Innovative Technology Administration, University Transportation Centers Program.

    Visit the website and View the PDF Flyer

  • May 24, 2012

    PacTrans Launching Summit on May 24, 2012

    On Thursday, May 24th, the PacTrans celebrated its grand opening with a Launching Summit at the Talaris Conference Center in Seattle. Representatives from each of the five partner universities and leaders of transportation agencies and private industry in the Pacific Northwest were present. Washington State Congressman Rick Larsen delivered a speech over the lunch hour. The event was intended to raise awareness about the new center, discuss the strategic directions of PacTrans, and to attract potential partners for transportation-related research.