James Vierling from car2go Minneapolis came and gave an exciting talk about car2go and car sharing in general. car2go is a car sharing company that is located in many cities worldwide, and just launched in Minneapolis last October with hopes to soon expand into St. Paul. Students provided many questions, and pizza was provided.
Mike Martinez, Scott Burfeind, Nick Stadem, and Natalie Lindsoe from HDR gave a TransTalk outlining the various disciplines within transportation engineering. The talk was ideal for sophomores and juniors in civil engineering and transportation fields because it provided a basis of understanding for students who are interested in transportation, but don’t know in what area to focus. Many students begin their undergraduate career not wanting or thinking they will end up in transportation only to find out their interests are very related to the field of transportation. This transtalk laid groundwork to help younger students understand the various disciplines of transportation.
On April 4th MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle gave a special TransTalk. The talk focused primarily on MnDOT, it’s current work and upcoming plans. MnDOT recently revisited their goals and initiatives. Mr. Zelle said they had over 120 goals they were simultaneously working on achieving. They have restructured their goals and now have about 5 primary goals.
He also talked about how they can operate sustainabily and how he sees our future as more multi-modal.
Brian Smalkoski from Kimley-Horn gave a comprehensive presentation on the Southeastern Minnesota Freight Rail Capacity Study carried out by Kimley-Horn. Currently freight rail runs entirely through Rochester, MN, in southeast Minnesota. As freight rail demand increases in the area, there is considerable interest to construct a rail to bypass the city. Various proposals were shown, with their relative benefits and costs.
John Levin, the Director of Service Development from Metro Transit gave our final TransTalk of the semester. Mr. Levin has been with Metro Transit for over 15 years. He discussed the parts of Metro Transit beyond BRT and LRT. His talk primarily focused on local and express bus service throughout the Twin Cities region. These are heavily used parts of the region’s transit system yet often receive less attention than LRT or BRT service.