Gas tax may get new look in Minnesota
KARE-11 TV, April 17, 2019
State Rep. Raymond Dehn has introduced a bill authorizing MnDOT to study phasing in a mileage tax, also known as a mileage-based user fee, as a replacement for traditional fuel taxes. It’s a way of charging people for using the roads. With the advent of hybrids and higher-mileage cars as well as electric vehicles it would give us a truer indication of the road use. Peak pricing becomes an option, as well as discounts for helping with congestion. "If you are collecting data it in a way that you can know when someone’s driving and where they’re driving, you can create incentives for them to drive at a different time of day or on a less congested road," Frank Douma of the Humphrey School told KARE. But he noted a mileage tax does raise more privacy concerns.

Transportation Finance and Policy Committee hearing
Minnesota Legislature, January 16, 2019
Frank Douma discussed the future of transportation, including electric and automated vehicles, at an informational hearing.

Self-driving cars? They’re closer than you think
Rural Minnesota Radio, December 7, 2018
Frank Douma was interviewed about self-driving vehicles. The technology for them exists now, he says, and MnDOT has demonstrated self-driving buses. We can expect more demonstrations, including in Greater Minnesota. But what about people with jobs as drivers right now?

How Does Minnesota’s Gas Tax Compare To Other States?
WCCO TV, November 12, 2018
A story by WCCO News featured TPEC researchers Lee Munnich and Jerry Zhao. The story highlights information from TPEC's Minnesota Transportation Finance Database.

Self-driving bus travels over the Washington Avenue Bridge
Minnesota Daily, May 1, 2018
A 12-passenger autonomous bus traveled on a pre-mapped route on the Washington Avenue Bridge at the University of Minnesota Monday, allowing passengers to experience self-driving technology. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has been studying this autonomous bus since December to see how the vehicle responds to winter weather and to different locations, like a college campus. ... Frank Douma, the University’s director of the state and local policy program, said the technology could make roads safer.

How will driverless cars change our cities?
Minnesota Public Radio, March 20, 2018
Last week Gov. Mark Dayton created a 15-member advisory council to study how driverless cars will affect Minnesota. This technology will affect not just drivers, but also the way cities are designed, according to Frank Douma, director of the State and Local Policy Program at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. In an age of driverless cars, he predicts, cities will become more walkable, parking lots and ramps will be replaced with residential buildings and car ownership itself could become a thing of the past.

U of M researcher weighs in on future of autonomous vehicles
CTS Blog, February 16, 2018
In January, the White Bear Chamber of Commerce hosted an event focused on the future of autonomous vehicles. CTS Scholar Frank Douma, director of the State and Local Policy Program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, was one of the event’s featured experts.

From grain supply chains to flying medical devices: What’s next for TPEC?
CTS Blog, January 31, 2018
At the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, researchers with the Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness (TPEC) Program have mapped the movement of the grain supply chain on Minnesota roads. Now, they're turning their attention to Minnesota's medical industry.

Supply chains for grain, medical technology are featured in freight roundtable
CTS Blog, December 15, 2017
At a roundtable held by the U’s Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness Program, speakers discussed trends in grain and medical-sector supply chains and the implications for freight transportation policy and investments.

With self-driving cars nearly a reality, Congress wonders how to regulate them
MinnPost, October 31, 2017
Congress doesn’t have a reputation for moving fast. On complex topics like health care and taxes, it can take years before lawmakers pass substantive legislation — if they pass any at all. This fall, however, Congress has moved uncharacteristically quickly to advance legislation governing new technology that is moving quickly: self-driving vehicles.... According to Frank Douma, a researcher at the University of Minnesota who studies automated vehicle issues, “the federal government always regulates the hardware, and the state regulates the driver, the human. That becomes tricky when you’re looking at the car increasingly becoming the driver.”

Driverless future gets put to the test at St. Louis Park event
Star Tribune, September 09, 2017
A group of Minnesotans from government, tech and academia peered into the future of our roadways Friday at a self-driving car symposium — of sorts.... A recent University of Minnesota report estimated that fully autonomous, “Level 4” cars could hit the market by 2025.... University of Minnesota researcher Frank Douma, who studies self-driving cars, was more bullish on solving the wintry problem. "Half the country gets snow," he said. "There’s not going to be a market for these vehicles if they don’t figure it out."

Rochester redo could spell future rush-hour headaches
Star Tribune, January 23, 2016
With tens of thousands of new jobs forecast for Rochester under the 20-year Destination Medical Center (DMC) plan, transportation planners have begun plotting strategies to get those workers to the office on time. Far from being a down-the-list detail, transportation has emerged as a core problem to solve, the sooner the better. ... Frank Douma, director of the state and local policy program at the U's Humphrey Institute, said he was surprised at how detailed the DMC transportation plans got.

In Winona, a surprising cluster of high-tech firms
MPR News, August 7, 2015
Tucked along the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, this city of 28,000 serves as the scenic home of a cluster of high-tech industries. Lee Munnich, who studies manufacturing clusters at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School, helps explain why.

Editorial: Good questions about Minnesota road costs
Pioneer Press, May 2, 2015
It's almost the legislative session's 11th hour, and some Minnesotans continue to raise questions about the cost assumptions on which lawmakers base their work to fix the state's roads and bridges.... In finding a way forward, it will be helpful to put transportation revenue sources into a broader context, Zhirong "Jerry" Zhao, an associate professor and transportation-finance scholar at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, told us.

U website offers transportation data galore
StarTribune, January 26, 2015
As lawmakers debate whether — and how — to fix roads and add transit routes and bike/pedestrian paths, transportation experts at the University of Minnesota have compiled a database to fuel those quantitative discussions. The Minnesota Transportation Finance Database, part of a multiyear Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness project funded by the 2013 Legislature, is jointly run by the U's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and its Center for Transportation Studies.

Robot cars will change your life—maybe
MinnPost, November 14, 2014
It's easy to chuckle at the thought of robot cars. But there's one simple reason that self-driving cars are inevitable: The current status quo is very bad. Because we all do it almost all the time, it's easy to forget that driving around in cars all the time is extremely deadly.

How will driverless cars reshape Twin Cities?
Finance & Commerce, November 3, 2014
Transportation and planning officials predict that so-called autonomous vehicles could free up land for development, reshape housing and increase density in the urban core.

New tool maps economic clusters
Minnesota Daily, October 6, 2014
Humphrey School senior fellow Lee Munnich comments on a new online tool that allows business and government leaders to see — and support — similar industries clustered together geographically.

The Midwest: Where things are made
Star Tribune, September 9, 2014
A new mapping tool that spotlights clusters of industry activity is revealing a fascinating picture of a dynamic Midwestern region with a diverse and vibrant array of manufacturing clusters fueling a regional economic rebound.

Is V2V soon to be a reality?
KMSP TV, August 18, 2014
On Monday, federal government workers took the first step in requiring cars to include technology that will allow vehicles to communicate with one another. Researchers at the U of M are currently building a test facility along Interstate 94 for cars that will one day be equipped with the technology. U of M Minnesota Traffic Observatory's John Hourdos and Humphrey School of Public Affairs' Frank Douma offered their comments. 

How driverless cars could injure insurers
National Public Radio—Marketplace, July 31, 2014
Who pays when driverless cars have accidents? U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Center for Transportation Studies' Frank Douma comments on insurance for driverless vehicles.

Connected Cars Can Simplify Your Life, But Will They Cost You Your Privacy?
Real Business, March 6, 2014
Connected cars are among a growing number of connected objects, often referred to as the "Internet of things" — from your refrigerator to your thermostat — that claim to simplify your life, largely by connecting you to what has become a lifeline for modern society: the smartphone. There's no denying the safety and convenience (and let's face it, wow factor) of having a "smart" vehicle, but at what cost? Is your privacy at risk?  Frank Douma, research fellow and associate director of University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, comments.

Uncovering manufacturers' perspectives on the transportation system
CTS Catalyst, December 2013
It's no secret that manufacturing plays a key role in driving economic growth, or that transportation is essential for the success of any manufacturing operation. While the relationships among manufacturing, transportation, and economic growth have been studied on a large scale, however, there is often little dialogue between transportation organizations and the manufacturers themselves. A recently completed pilot study conducted jointly by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and University of Minnesota Extension aims to address this communication gap.

Forum: freight transportation aids state's economic competitiveness
CTS Catalyst, November 2013
Freight transportation is vitally important to jobs and economic competitiveness in Minnesota. This was the common message of the speakers at the Transportation Policy and Economic Competitiveness Forum held September 20 in Minneapolis.

The forum was part of a two-year project by researchers in the U of M's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The project is exploring ways to understand and enhance the value of freight transportation, particularly freight rail, to Minnesota's economy, local communities, and the surrounding region.

Lee Munnich and Tom Horan, two of the researchers, shared interim findings from the study. Through data analysis and interviews with national and regional experts, the research team found that freight rail plays a vital role for key Minnesota industries. Growth in Minnesota's Gross State Product, for example, has been stronger than the national average each year during the economic recovery in several key industries dependent on rail: agriculture, mining, and manufacturing.

Self-driving cars are attainable technology, St. Paul robotic conference told
Pioneer Press, November 12, 2013
Self-driving cars someday will be commonplace in this country, a panel of experts affirmed at a robotics conference in downtown St. Paul on Tuesday. But it won't happen in the next few years — and could take decades — given the many roadblocks in the way of such technology flourishing on U.S. highways, the panelists added. U of M Humphrey School's Frank Douma and Leili Fatehi comment.

Freight Rail Linked to Healthier Economy
KSTP News, September 19, 2013
Freight traffic comes with its share of nuisances, but new research from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs shows the rail system has significant perks.