Tip Sheet: Travel Behavior During Metrorail Safe Track Provides Subject Matter for Professor’s NSF Project

Northern Virginia and D.C. area commuters are accustomed to traffic jams and gridlock, but Metrorail’s nine-month Safe Track repairs can bring frustration to new levels. 

As the transit agency begins its next surge later this week —with 42 days of single tracking—riders may not know what to expect but Shanjiang Zhu, assistant professor of civil engineering, and investigators from the University of Maryland will be studying how Metroriders react to disruptions due to the repairs.

Zhu recently received funding from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled “RAPID: Transit Network Disruption, Service Reliability, and Travel Behavior.” He and his team aim to use their findings to lessen the impact of major transit system shutdowns in the future.

This project will be the first comprehensive study on transit network disruption of this size with complete before-and-after travel behavior and system performance data.

For more information contact Martha Bushong, director of communications, Volgenau School of Engineering at mbushong@gmu.edu or 703-993-5595.

Shanjiang Zhu is assistant professor in the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering. He can be reached at szhu3@gmu.edu.