OnTrackNorthAmerica Announces Collaborative Research Relationships

Influential Rail Transportation Scholars to Provide Program and Development Resources

Philadelphia, PA, November 13, 2015

OnTrackNorthAmerica (OTNA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit action think tank, today announced new working relationships with Dr. Pasi Lautala from Michigan Tech University and Dr. Mingzhou Jin, Director of the Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain Engineering  lab at the University of Tennessee.  “We are fulfilling our mission by facilitating intellectual collaboration” said Michael Sussman, OTNA President and Founder. “With our academic partners we are extending the boundaries of knowledge in the field of transportation planning and investment strategy while leveraging our industry experience to guide in-the-field application.”

Dr.-Jin-3Dr. Jin’s efforts focus on the formulation of OTNA’s National Transportation Lifecycle Costs and Benefits Project. Dr. Jin summarizes his efforts: “As an author of several papers about transportation performance measurement development and a principal investigator who has conducted more than a dozen projects for US DOT and several state DOTs, I still observe that measures used in practice are very different across transportation modes and government agencies.  There is a need to conduct a comprehensive study to provide a unified life-cycle costs and benefits analysis framework for evaluating transportation systems and facilitating performance-based decision making.”

OTNA and Dr. Lautala’s collaboration is based on recognition that for capital investment in infrastructure to be productive and profitable, it is necessary to develop andimage56401-pers agree on a set of measures and values to guide these major investments public and private purposes. As yet, the measures, data, and analytical method have not been gathered and agreed on across agency, community, and sector lines. Therefore, system-level as well as individual transportation project investments are challenging to evaluate in cases where researchers, consultants, and decision-makers are unable to agree on a full set of lifecycle costs and benefits. “It’s OTNA’s mission to bridge these gaps and enable us to make better decisions, with broader positive social impact, in a timelier manner” noted Mr. Sussman.

Founded in 2007, OnTrackNorthAmerica is an action think tank for expanding the capacity and footprint of rail transportation within an optimal system in service to the environment, economy, and quality of life. In partnership with industry, academia, and government, it develops programs for more intelligent, sustainable, and resilient transportation systems


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