2 panel banner: on the left - a rural landscape with fields in the foreground, a white barn in the midground, and tree-covered hills in the background. On the right, downtown Church Street in Burlington VT


The TRC engages in data-driven research that focuses on the unique transportation needs and challenges faced by small and rural communities. 

Evaluating Equity and Effectiveness in Vermont's Electric Vehicle Purchase Incentive Programs

electric cars parked in front of the capitol building in Montpelier, Vermont

Principal Investigators: Parker King & Gregory Rowangould

Project Sponsor: University of Vermont

The project aims to inform the design of EV incentive programs, particularly in smaller and rural communities that have not been the focus of prior investigation and where the market penetration of EVs has been lower. The project will also contribute to a greater understanding of how incentive programs can be designed to improve program effectiveness and equity for lower income and rural households.


Evaluating Heterogeneity in Household Travel Response to Carbon Pricing: A Study Focusing on Small and Rural Communities

a rural dirt road lined with trees with mountains in the background

Principal Investigator: Gregory Rowangould

Project Sponsor: National Center for Sustainable Transportation

The aim of this research project is to collect new information about household travel behavior, how households may respond to increased transportation fuel costs, and information about real and perceived barriers to avoiding higher transportation fuel costs in diverse rural communities.


Evaluating the Contribution of Paved Surfaces to Intra-Urban Heat in Small Communities

aerial view of a small downtown

Principal Investigator: Brittany Antończak

Project Sponsors: University of Vermont and Federal Highway Administration

This research will evaluate how paved surfaces affect surface and canopy layer air temperatures in smaller communities in Vermont and estimate population exposure to intra-urban heat caused by the presence of paved surfaces in each community type.


Evaluation of Travel Constraints and Travel Burdens in the U.S. and in Rural Zero-Car Households

empty rural highway in fog

Principal Investigator: Dana Rowangould

Project Sponsor: National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Transportation systems provide the means for people to reach desired destinations. The ability to travel varies widely, with many travelers facing constraints that cause travel burdens and reduce quality of life. These burdens can be greater in rural areas where many travelers face fewer transportation options and longer distances to destinations. 

The research team will evaluate travel burdens in urban and rural populations using data from a large US survey, determining who experiences travel burdens and the factors that contribute to a greater likelihood of experiencing travel burdens in urban and rural areas. These results will be used to inform in-depth interviews with zero-car rural populations, who have a high potential for travel burden. The findings will be useful for researchers and transportation practitioners seeking to better address the challenges faced by rural populations in the US.


Exposure-based Extreme Heat Vulnerability Mapping to Inform Adaptation and Mitigation of Extreme Heat Exposure Risk in Small Cities and Rural Settlements

view of a city with mountains in the background - hazy orange fog

Principal Investigators: Elizabeth Doran and Gregory Rowangould

Project Sponsor: NOAA

This project will identify where people all across Vermont are exposed to excessive heat produced by transportation infrastructure, map areas of vulnerability (where there is higher heat and populations at greater risk of adverse health impacts from heat exposure), and help state and municipal agencies target solutions to the places and people that most need them. 


Modeling Electric Vehicle Charging Scenarios for New York and New England

an electric vehicle charging

Principal Investigator: Jonathon Dowds

Project Sponsor: National Center for Sustainable Transportation

This project aims to utilize detailed travel behavior data to calculate time-specific regional demand for electric vehicle charging, specifically for the New York/New England region.


The Future of Rural Transit: Combining and Electrifying School and Public Transportation

a public bus with a bicycle on the front

Project Team: Peggy O'Neill-Vivanco, Cara Robecheck, Justine Sears, and Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur

Project Sponsors: Energy Action Network and Vermony Agency of Transportation 

The project team will research and design a pilot to purchase and deploy small electric buses to serve 1-2 of Vermont’s rural school systems and their surrounding communities. The project will also include a detailed study to assess the opportunities and barriers of combining services: evaluating right-sizing vehicles, optimal service routes, and fleet sizes, all while drawing from fleet electrification experiences in Vermont and other states. 

Learn more about this project >>>

Value of VTrans Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

Principal Investigators: Jonathan Dowds & Gregory Rowangould

Project Sponsor: Vermont Agency of Transportation 

The purpose of this research is to improve the Agency’s ability to assess the value of external research projects with a specific focus on developing and demonstrating a qualitative assessment strategy that can be applied to all research projects.