Projects

CAR-TEEH’s research program includes a collaborative program with joint projects conducted by consortium members, and a competitive program administered by individual consortium members. These projects together address important research needs that synergize the expertise of the various partners.

Brief descriptions of the initial collaborative research projects are provided below. Detailed descriptions and further information will be included once the projects are underway.

Transportation Emissions and Health Data Hub

Lead: Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI)

Partners: All other consortium members

This project addresses the need for a systematic, cross-disciplinary approach to understand different sources of data and reconcile different methods of data collection and analysis. A large amount of high-quality data exists in both the transportation and public health domains, which could be related spatially and temporally with each other for innovative research applications. A data hub developed in cooperation with all CAR-TEEH consortium members will facilitate the sharing of data between researchers from different disciplines and institutions.

Truck Emissions-Exposure Study in Ports

Lead: Georgia Tech (GT)

Partners: University of California Riverside (UCR), TTI

Ports serve as a hub for freight movement into and out of the United States and often face air quality issues due to the emissions from marine engines, freight trucks, drayage trucks, and cargo handling equipment. This has occupational health implications for truck drivers and others working and living in these areas. GT will lead the effort at the Port of Savannah; UCR will lead the study at the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles; and TTI will lead the study at the Port of Houston. We will conduct field measurements of in-use in-cab and ambient particulate matter (PM) concentrations, and correlate the concentrations with port activities using an expansion of the GT’s Fuel and Emissions Calculator and port simulation models.

Border Crossing Emissions Impacts Study

Lead: TTI

Partners: University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and John Hopkins University (JHU)

Poor air quality and associated health impacts are a major health concern to citizens living in the U.S.-Mexico border region. This is especially true in areas near major ports of entry (POE), where large volumes of cross-border freight and passenger movement occur. This project will characterize the air pollution in El Paso and assess the impacts of traffic-related pollution on a POE bridge in the region.

Healthy Living and Traffic-Related Air Pollution in an Undeserved Community

Lead: UTEP

Partners: JHU, UCR, and TTI

Numerous epidemiological studies have shown evidence of adverse health effects resulting from acute or chronic exposure to traffic-related pollution. At the same time, active living, which includes walking and bicycling, is being promoted to improve public health. Active living practices aimed at improving health outcomes in underserved populations may therefore have a detrimental impact on health from an emissions exposure perspective. The objectives of this project are to quantify air pollution exposures for residents of underserved communities near busy roadways and to develop guidelines on healthy living for the undeserved roadside communities that are subjected to severe air pollution.

Development and Evaluation of Connected Vehicle Application for Alternative Fuel Trucks

Lead: UCR

Partners: GT

Advances in connected vehicle (CV) technologies have the potential for reducing GHG emissions, fuel consumption, and emissions of other pollutants. The UCR research team has developed a variety of CV applications. One such application is Eco-Approach and Departure (EAD), which uses signal phase and timing information from the traffic signal to determine an optimal speed profile for approaching and departing the intersection in the most eco-friendly manner. With the projected increasing market shares of plug-in hybrid electric trucks in the freight sector in the next several years, this project will evaluate the energy and emission benefits of employing plug-in hybrid electric trucks in place of conventional diesel trucks.

Health Risk Characterization for Transportation Users

Lead: JHU

Partners: UTEP

The fields of occupational and environmental health are moving toward application of the concepts of cumulative risk assessment to enhance the health and safety of workers and communities. Yet, methods are rudimentary and few examples exist in this area, especially in terms of risk profiles for transportation system users and workers. The research team will apply its existing expertise in the area of risk assessments to a pilot project to develop a cumulative exposure and risk profile for transportation workers and transportation system users considering chemical and non-chemical stressors from the transportation setting as well as home, community, and social environments.