Carnegie Mellon University

Rural Bridge

Holistic and Energy-efficient Rural County Mobility Platform (RAMP)

This project proposes to design a hybrid rural mobility platform with both fixed-route shuttle service and complementary volunteer-based trips, called “Rural County Mobility Platform” (RAMP). RAMP will collect data, maintain a volunteer program, and be established on a data-driven system-level framework enabled and validated by large-scale data. RAMP can also evaluate energy efficiency and mobility gains of the provided mobility services. Greene County, a representative rural county, struggles with expensive, long, single-purpose, energy inefficient trips while providing transportation services for its residents. RAMP consists of two parts. The first, a fixed-route shuttle system operating among hubs at a fixed time-headway. Routes are fixed in terms of schedules and planned routes/zones, but are flexible in terms of making actual stops at selected hubs. The second, a volunteer-based first-mile/last-mile connector (or occasionally complementary end-to-end) service for people and goods. The research will inform data-driven design and performance assessment of the hybrid rural mobility system.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, led by an interdisciplinary team including Metro21, and partnering with Waynesburg University & Greene County, the team aims to develop a testbed for an innovative mobility platform that can be replicated across the United States. The goal is to improve mobility in rural Southwestern Pennsylvania, with the potential to advance the fundamental knowledge of how energy-efficient, affordable mobility services can work in rural America, enabling them to be systematically planned, operated, and monitored, inherently merged with system-level modeling.

To learn more about the technology, partnerships and goals of the task force, read more here.

Project Partners:

Department of Energy

Waynesburg University

Greene County

Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Project Team:

Sean Qian, Civil & Environmental Engineering,
Carnegie Mellon University