USDOT awards $3.5 million for UW-based regional transportation center

January 25, 2012
News Source: 
UW Today

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a grant of $3.5 million to a multi-university, regional transportation center led by the University of Washington. The newly established Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium, or PacTrans, will focus on safe and sustainable transportation in environments ranging from busy urban centers to remote mountainous terrain.

“PacTrans will focus on developing sustainable solutions for the diverse transportation needs of the Pacific Northwest,” said director Yinhai Wang, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering.

The center’s work could have helped people get around during last week’s storm, he said. New ways to analyze existing data that combines weather conditions, traffic volumes, vehicle speeds, road surface conditions, and incidents can extract information that helps travelers choose the best routes, and traffic operators make optimal decisions, Wang said.

“As transportation becomes a more critical issue for urban and rural environments, it’s very timely that we’ve won this award to help develop modern transportation systems,” said Matt O’Donnell, dean of the UW College of Engineering.