MRI 3: Equitable Mobility Services for Goods and People in Rural and Underserved Communities 

MRI 3 focuses on improving rural mobility through the provision of affordable transportation services. This will be achieved by evaluating the reliability of our regional freight network and developing novel approaches for improving the performance of the freight system. MRI 3 will also develop innovative tools to study and optimize multimodal transportation network connectivity to enhance system performance, advance economic development, and support businesses in Region 4. 

Project 3-1. Optimal and Safe Route for Freight Transportation in Rural Areas: This project develops an optimal and safe route for freight transportation in rural areas. Transportation of goods in remote regions often faces challenges such as inadequate road infrastructure, limited access to real-time information, and potential safety hazards

Project 3-2. Community-Oriented and Data-Driven Mobility Modeling for Rural and Disconnected Communities: This project employs novel feature-engineering and data fusion approaches to identify data gaps, overcome data-related challenges, and understand unique spatiotemporal travel patterns in rural areas. Furthermore, a mobility modeling framework will be developed to evaluate mobility services specifically tailored to rural and disconnected communities such as micro-mobility, paratransit, and demand-responsive transit

Project R3-3. An Analysis of Demand Response Transit (DRT) Travel of the Elderly, Women and the Disabled in Rural Areas: Implications for Equity and Future DRT Systems: This project creates a framework to conduct a detailed demographic and travel behavior analysis of current DRT users to understand how equitable and accessible existing DRT systems are in rural areas and investigate opportunities for adopting advanced technologies to support rural travel needs