Mobility and Public Transportation

Program Overview

The Mobility and Public Transportation program research area works at providing a comprehensive approach to solving issues facing rural transportation (transit), federal lands (national parks, forests, etc.) and tribal agencies through research, outreach and education/training. It does this through facilitating transportation coordination among transportation providers, including human service, tourist industries and other organizations, and increasing mobility for individuals of all ages and abilities by using innovative solutions that include bicycle, pedestrian and all other modes of transportation.

About the Mobility and Public Transportation Program

This program expanded in 2004 from a focus specifically on public transportation (transit) to a program that included additional modes, including aviation, rail, bicycling and pedestrian travel. The program looks at how various modes interact, and how individual and public mobility can be improved by improving the link between the various modes.

Today, the Mobility and Public Transportation Program focuses on how to improve mobility in rural and frontier areas by coordinating resources so that even basic public transportation services can be provided. This is a challenge in rural and frontier areas due to a scattered population or seasonal visitors (tourists), who must travel great distances to reach medical and other life-line services (educational campuses, business centers, airports), and recreational sites.

Program Staff

David Kack, MBA, is the Mobility and Public Transportation Program Manager. Having worked at WTI for eight years, David has focused on many projects to improve mobility within Montana and increase coordination among various agencies and organizations. David was part of the team that created the Montana Coordinated Transportation Handbook© and then implemented its coordination principles in the Real Choices Systems Change Grant project. David also helped launch two new public transportation systems in Montana, Streamline, in the greater Bozeman area, and Skyline in Big Sky.

Rebecca Gleason, PE, M.S., joined WTI in 2006 as a research engineer. Rebecca earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1994 and holds an M.S. in Health Sciences. Her research is focused on bicycle and pedestrian travel as modes of active and sustainable transportation. Ms. Gleason was the primary author of the 2008 "Guide to Promoting Bicycling on Federal Lands", which sought to raise awareness of the benefits of bicycling and the many resources already available for bike planning and design. She was also the primary author of "Exploring Bicycle Options for Federal Lands: Bike Sharing, Rentals and Employee Fleets", which explores how land managers can make bicycles more accessible. Rebecca has presented at Transportation Research Board, George Wright Society and Scenic Byways conferences. She currently serves as the chair of the Bozeman Area Bicycle Advisory Board.

Jaydeep Chaudhari, AICP, is a Research Scientist with the Western Transportation Institute. He is skilled in the fields of public transportation, land use planning, policy analysis, emergency management planning, administration, geographical information system, and architecture. Currently, he is working on Fuel Tax Refunds and Livability projects for the Montana Department of Transportation and on an alternate transportation system project for the Yellowstone National Park. He was a principal investigator on two projects studying emergency preparedness and evacuation operations for rural communities. Recently, he helped to launch the U.S. DOT Planning Leadership Award winning transit system - the North Central Montana Transit systems. Jaydeep is a member of the Transportation Research Board's Transportation Planning for Small and Medium Sized Communities Committee, and National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) 15-40 project panel.

Contact: 406-994-7526