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Research Projects (1999-00)

Identifying Number


Project Title

University Transportation Survey


Colorado State University

Project Investigator

Dr. Richard Gutkowski
Colorado State University
Department of Civil Engineering
(970)491-8291 or Fax (970)491-2788

External Project Contact

Mr. John Daggett
Senior Transportation Planning
City of Ft. Collins, CO

Project Objective

The objective of this project is to compile current information on transit systems serving universities throughout the United States and to determine the applicability of applying practices and policies to Colorado State University, City of Fort Collins and the University of Northern Colorado - City of Greeley; both located in Colorado and with surrounding rural areas.

Project Abstract

Colorado State University (CSU) is anticipating the approval of plans and federal funding for a regional (northern Colorado) transportation center to be located on the CSU campus in Ft. Collins, CO. This will serve nearby regional populace, primarily for their access to higher education. Related to this, the University of Northern Colorado in nearby Greeley, Colorado is interested in including this development in its transportation planning. Since students can take inter-university courses, transit between institutions is important, too. In preparation for a potential transportation center for Ft. Collins and Greeley and their environs, the local and county transportation planners are investigating practices in "university" communities throughout the nation. A survey process will be used to collect the data pertinent to the study and decision making process.

Task Descriptions

The effective interface of university and municipal transit services is not common in small to modest size cities in the United States that are home to growing mid-size universities. Some are not interfaced at all. As the size(s) of the city and/or the university grow(s) the need to do so to better facilitate student mobility and access increase rapidly. Many communities face this emerging need at the present time, and others are nearing that point. Typically, dialogue and action result to develop dual approaches. Consequently, a variety of operation relationships and resulting practices between the university and community are emerging. In many student involvement is key, including some cases of active involvement in operating the services. It is pertinent to examine these in the setting of example local situations presently addressing the trend.

  • Task 1 – Determine the sampling population for dissemination of the survey to approximately 100-150 pertinent communities. (R. Gutkowski, J. Daggett - December 31, 1999)
  • Task 2 – Determine the surveying procedures (mail, phone, electronic, etc.) to be used. (R. Gutkowski, J. Daggett - January 31, 2000)
  • Task 3 – Design the survey questionnaire. (R. Gutkowski, J. Daggett - March 31, 2000)
  • Task 4 – Prepare and disseminate the survey to the sampling population. (R. Gutkowski, J. Daggett - April 30, 2000)
  • Task 5 – Collect and reduce the results. (R. Gutkowski - June 15, 2000)
  • Task 6 – Develop written recommendations to the universities and communities involved. (J. Daggett - August 31, 2000)
  • Task 7 – Prepare an MPC report on the findings with respect to national practices. (J. Daggett - October 31, 2000)

Milestones, Dates

  • Starting Data: November 1, 1999
  • Develop Survey: March 31, 2000
  • Dissemination of Survey: April 30, 2000
  • Return of Survey: May 31, 2000
  • Written Recommendations: August 31, 2000
  • MPC Report: October 31, 2000
  • Ending Date: October 31, 2000

Yearly and Total Budget

Student Involvement (e.g. Thesis, Assistantships, Paid Employment)

Funds are included in the budget for a graduate research assistant at CSU to work on the project.

Relationship to Other Research Projects

There have been no prior MPC projects on this general topic or the focus on the Colorado regional aspects.

Technology Transfer Activities

Survey findings will be available in basic and summarized form. The summarized survey results will be provided to parties involved in both cities-universities, as well as the basic data. The recommendations will be incorporated directly in the CSU Strategic Transportation Plan and provided to the cities-universities. An MPC report will provide access to the national findings for use by any interested party. In particular, it will be made available to any interested university community participating in the survey. Subsequent to the project, a technical publication is planned.

Potential Benefits of the Project

The cities involved are actively developing merged transit services to provide improved student access to the "home" universities, and, to a degree, between the two campuses. The CSU PI will cooperate with the city official responsible for the contracted work to develop a Strategic Transportation Plan for Colorado State University. Hence, the outcomes of the research will be directly incorporated in the actual strategic plan. The survey process will also provide a linkage to other cities who would benefit from the findings.

TRB Keywords

National practices, national trends, transit, survey, university communities

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050