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University Receives Grant to Study LA Rail

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

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Late last month, Bethany Stich, director of the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute, was awarded $150,000 by the Louisiana Transportation Research Center to investigate the state's passenger and freight rail systems, which will inform Louisiana's future investments.

Louisiana Rail Study

Louisiana’s freight rail system provides support for the petrochemical rail industry, among others. Stich noted that increased rail availability can better the state’s place in the global marketplace, mainly though cost and statistical advantages. Passenger rail also provides an additional option in transit, which can relieve traffic congestion, increase safety and reduce fuel consumption.

“Understanding how to best incorporate rail infrastructure into the state’s multimodal transportation system requires a unified vision with common goals. This research will ascertain the current state of rail in Louisiana and offer benefit/cost analyses of system expansion,” Stich said.

University of New Orleans

Late last month, Bethany Stich, director of the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute, was awarded $150,000 by the Louisiana Transportation Research Center to investigate the state's passenger and freight rail systems, which will inform Louisiana's future investments.

“The study will inform the work of state transportation planners by exploring economic development opportunities and identifying key corridors for investment. It will also show us where we should focus on mitigating safety concerns and rail traffic congestion.”

According to the university, the state’s rail system covers 2,730 route miles, and is operated by six large railroads and 14 smaller local, switching and terminal railroads. Louisiana’s passenger rail includes: “the City of New Orleans, operating between New Orleans and Chicago; the Crescent, operating between New Orleans and New York; and the Sunset Limited, operating between Los Angeles and New Orleans.” Stich noted that these systems are facing some problems, such as a lack of connection with other transportation options.

The Louisiana Transportation Research Center will use Stich’s analysis to develop a game plan to better transportation efficiency, accessibility, capacity and cost effectiveness.

The Louisiana Transportation Research Center conducts research and provides technology assistance, engineering training and continuing education, among other services, to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. The University of New Orleans Transportation Institute, its core expertise being in sustainable transport policy, offers research, professional outreach and education opportunities.


Tagged categories: Grants; Infrastructure; Rail; Research and development

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