Geography students awarded Point B Transportation Scholarships

The National Institute for Transportation and Communities, or NITC, supports livable urban communities of all sizes, motivated by a vision of transportation fostering larger social and economic goals:

● Improving health and safety for all users
● Increasing the efficiency and understanding of cycling, walking and transit
● Making the best use of data, performance measures and analytical tools
● Integrating multimodal transportation with land use
● Taking long-term action on transportation emissions and climate change

As a member of the NITC team, The Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah conducts basic and applied research on the built environment at the metropolitan scale, focusing on key forces shaping metropolitan form such as demographics, environment, technology, design, transportation, arts and culture, and governance. It seeks to expand knowledge in city and metropolitan affairs to improve policy and practice, and educate the general public on important issues facing communities.

The Fall 2013 Point B NITC Scholarship Program awarded amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to University of Utah students for use during fall semester 2013.  The scholarships were competitive and based on the quality of the applicant's transportation research project and the project's consistency with the goals of the NITC, the scholarship program's sponsor. 

Dr. Steve Farber's students were selected for scholarships from this program:


Vy Nguyen

"Personal Mobility Trading: a simulation using Agent-based Models"

Vy is building an agent-based model that compares a personal mobility trading policy to existing congestion relief strategies (e.g. tolls, taxes, etc).  The purpose is to evaluate which policy is most efficient, socially equitable/acceptable, and encourages a greater balance of modal split in a transportation system.


Benjaim Ritter1

 "When and Where: Dynamic Public Transit Accessibility along the Wasatch Front"

Ben's research focuses on conducting a temporal analysis of the Wasatch Front's public transit network in order to better understand, not just where social inequality might exist, but also when.


 IMG 3941

In this study, we seek to quantify individual levels of accessibility to healthy food for a cross-section of residents of Salt Lake City. We will then look for evidence of social exclusion from healthy food vendors based on race, gender and socioeconomic status.  The hypothesis is that individuals who have lower socioeconomic standing will be at a higher risk of having poor access to healthy foods, which may have serious public health outcomes.


IMG 3945

Tyler is working with Dr. Farber exploring how commuting affects access to health care providers in the Wasatch Front.  An accessibility measure will be computed for each commuter in the Wasatch Front (based on aggregate flow data) and these will be aggregated to places of residence and work.  They will then compare home-based, work-based and commuter-based measures to determine whether these significantly impact their estimates of accessibility.