University of Pittsburgh
December 6, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 7 -- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has awarded a $97,000 contract to the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in partnership with Gannett-Fleming, Inc.

The contract is a part of PennDOT's University-based Research, Education, and Technology Transfer Program, intended to improve intermodal transportation in the Commonwealth through in-service training. Already underway, the project will be completed by early summer, 2001.

PennDOT seeks, through coordination with the various private businesses and public agencies, to improve the Commonwealth's economic competitiveness by maintaining and, where appropriate, improving Pennsylvania's transportation system to facilitate the movement of people and goods through carriers' efficient and effective use of various transportation modes -- to and from Pennsylvania's ports and airports on water, rail, and highway.

Accordingly, PennDOT designated intermodal coordinators in each of its

11 engineering districts to work closely with designated professionals in the Commonwealth's Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Local Development Districts as well as shippers, freight carriers, and economic development interests. The project also addresses passenger transportation in its various forms, including airports and public transit. To bolster intermodal initiatives statewide, the Pitt/Gannett-Fleming team will work with all involved parties to build a stronger capacity among intermodal coordinators, who then will train others throughout the Commonwealth.

The initial work involves documenting the knowledge and skills most valued in intermodal coordinator activities, and defining how these should evolve as intermodal initiatives emerge. In this initial phase, one outcome will be a "requirements analysis" and creation of a skills "tree," which will be central to the course development. The analysis, which will be PennDOT customer driven, will be the springboard for developing course content.

Internet resources will be integrated into the course, which will serve as a resource to PennDOT staff and others who are promoting multi-modal coordination in the Commonwealth.

GSPIA Associate Professor James P. DeAngelis is leading the project, along with Rafael Quimpo, chairman of Pitt's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Gannett-Fleming is a leading transportation and consulting firm that has provided services to PennDOT, Amtrak, freight railroads, and transit authorities. The company also provides a wide range of policy analysis for the State Transportation Advisory Committee.

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