CTEDD Student Council

MISSION: CTEDD Student Council (CSC) mission is to encourage students’ engagement in Center for Transportation, Equity, Decisions & Dollars (CTEDD) leadership and stimulate career development, networking, discussions, peer-guidance and provide academic and professional skill-building among students to support their current educational progress and future career development in transportation- related topics. Networking of different thoughts events also include firm visit, movie night, book club and meet with the successful alumni.

CSC also aims to be engaged in community empowerment outside of UTA such as training sessions and field trips for K9-K12 students, participation , representation and advocacy for equity in policy making meetings such as City Council and citizen advisory board meetings as well as civic engagement educational activities for public such as participation in community festivals, bike tour, movie nights and marathons.


VISION: CSC vision is, by drawing upon CTEDD network of different universities and entities, to attract members from non-UTA organizations and establish the national network of members with leadership core in UTA. CSC Vision is to be a model student organization for an elite research higher education institution.

CSC purpose is to stimulate career development, networking, discussions and peer-guidance among students to support their current educational progress and future career development in transportation- related topics.


CSC invites all UT-Arlington students to sign in for membership here: CSC Membership Sign in Form

     CSC Mentorship Program Sign Up-Click Here 



The CSC members of Executive and Advisory Boards are as follows:

CSC Executive Board:

CSC Ambassadors:

  • UTA Ambassador 1-Tahereh Granpayehvaghei (PhD Student of Urban Planning @ UTA CAPPA)-Woman’s Transportation Seminar-UTA Student Chapter President
  • UTA Ambassador 2-Sheida Khademi (PhD Student of Transportation Engineering @ UTA COE)-Institute of Transportation Engineers–UTA Student Chapter President
  • UTA Ambassador 3-Congress Surya Sarat Chandra (PhD Student of Civil Engineering @ UTA COE)
  • Cal Poly SLO Ambassador 1-Vanessa See (Civil Engineering Undergraduate @ Cal Poly SLO)-Institute of Transportation Engineers–Cal Poly SLO Student Chapter President
  • Cal Poly SLO Ambassador 2-Brian Gaul (Civil Engineering Undergraduate @ Cal Poly SLO)-Institute of Transportation Engineers–Cal Poly SLO Student Chapter Vice President
  • Georgia Institute of Technology Ambassador 1-Caitlin Mildner (City and Regional Planning Graduate Student@ GIT)
  • University of South Florida Ambassador 1-Yuan Wang (Ph.D. Candidate of Transportation Engineering, College of Engineering, Institute of Transportation Engineers – USF Student Chapter President @ USF)
  • University of South Florida Ambassador 2-Md Hoque (Ph.D. Candidate of Transportation Engineering, College of Engineering, Institute of Transportation Engineers – USF Student Chapter Vice-President @ USF)

CSC Advisory Board:


The applicants for the CSC Pioneer Student Research symposium and travel grant can find application form here:

CSC Pioneer Student Research Symposium-Fall 2017-application

The grantees should use CTEDD logo and the following template for their presentations:


PowerPoint template

Horizontal Poster Template

Vertical Poster Template

Upcoming events:

Spring 2018 Programs:



Fall 2017 Programs:

CSC Student Research Symposium:

Accepted papers for presentation:

Track 1 Ensuring Transportation System Vitality for Infrastructures and Users:

  • Infrastructure Monitoring Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Coupled with Close Range Photogrammetry (UAV-CRP) Technology _ Presenter: Surya Sarat Chandra Congress (UTA College of Engineering)

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) researchers from Sustainable and Resilient Civil Infrastructure (SARCI) Center have been exploring Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology with Photogrammetry in several application areas including civil infrastructure works. Various sensors including visible light camera and Infrared (IR) camera are being used on the UAV platform for photogrammetry studies. Prior to any project work, we perform comprehensive calibration studies to ensure high standards in our UAV data collection from the sensors. We are capable of performing Real Time Kinematic (RTK) and Post Processing Kinematic (PPK) of high precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data for accurate geo-referencing of the collected imagery. As a part of various research projects funded by different government agencies, we have been utilizing UAVs to monitor health condition of infrastructure assets including highway pavements, bridges, embankments, dams, levees, railways and transmission towers; to estimate material stockpile volumes; and perform reconnaissance surveys as a part of post disaster emergency response surveys. Our on-going data collection and analyses show that we achieve excellent results explaining infrastructure conditions with near survey grade accuracy. Our UAV platform is also equipped with top gimbal that facilitates monitoring of hard to access areas such as tall transmission towers and underside of the bridge decks. This presentation covers some of the areas including UAV photogrammetry studies, data collection procedures and data mining as well as data analysis that provide infrastructure condition assessments to quantification of distress.

Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Infrastructure



  • Does Urban Sprawl Exacerbate Housing Foreclosure? A Nationwide Study of Built Environmental Characteristics, Transportation Accessibility and Housing Foreclosure in the U.S._ Presenter: Hamid Hajjafari (UTA CAPPA)

Mortgage defaults and housing affordability have been controversial issues in America within recent years. The considerable number of housing foreclosures have damaged the homeowners and hindered the neighborhoods and cities growth as a whole. This leads to a debate of how we should rebuild and reshape our cities. Different research studies have emphasized the importance of sociodemographic factors on the likelihood of foreclosure. However, the literature offers little evidence on how, and to what extent urban sprawl might influence the risk of mortgage default. This study seeks to address this gap in the literature through testing hypotheses about the links between sprawl development and housing foreclosure for metropolitan counties in the United States. We applied the updated and released Compactness Indices from Measuring Sprawl 2014 and the foreclosure data from the RealtyTrac Inc. After controlling for confounding variables, the findings showed that urban sprawl is positively and considerably connected with the higher rate of foreclosure. For each one percent increase in the rate of county compactness, foreclosure level decreases by 1.03 percent. Perhaps this is because of the higher level of auto dependency and auto ownership in sprawling counties which uses a substantial portion of households’ budget for driving and automobile maintenance. This could also be due to the high expenses of housing maintenance and utilities for the larger properties in sprawling districts which sequentially upsurges the possibility of mortgage default for inhabitants of these districts.

 Keywords: Housing Foreclosure; Mortgage Default; Urban Sprawl, Transportation Affordability, Transportation Cost, transportation accessibility


Track 2 Urban Design, Public Realm & Transportation Planning Intersection


  • A Toolkit for Successful TOD Planning: Evidence from Five American Cities_ Presenter: Tahereh Granpayehvaghei (UTA CAPPA)

This paper contributes to discussions about Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) by investigating a diverse range of projects around the United States. It utilizes both qualitative and quantitative data to achieve a better understanding of how TODs can be adapted to their surrounding environment as a reliable alternative to other forms of growth, while still holding their specific characteristics. Incorporating the views of planners, policy-makers and local residents’ perceptions with the built environmental analysis, the authors provide a toolkit of many options to achieve successful transit-oriented communities in different contexts and with diverse resources.

The authors illustrate that accounting for the needs and expectations of the local community and providing higher density and supportive mixed-use with exceptional design for public places, for instance, benefits the local community and TOD projects in various ways. Ultimately, this paper recommends that supporting TOD projects with land-use policies (e.g. developing at higher density and providing retails that fit the local context), using urban design to create walkable places (e.g. creating livable public spaces and accessible stations), improving the quality of life (e.g. providing affordable housing and addressing crime and homelessness), and planning for different TOD typologies (e.g. urban vs. suburban projects) can most likely create a successful TOD project.

Keywords: Transit Oriented Development (TOD), Toolkit, Case Study


  • Urban design qualities in downtown Dallas: examining the relationship between urban design qualities and walking behavior in downtown Dallas_ Presenter: Somayeh Moazenni (UTA CAPPA)

Few studies have acknowledged the impacts of street-level urban design qualities on walking behavior. Researchers have yet to attempt this kind of analysis in a large auto dependent context. This paper seeks to address this gap and study the impacts of urban design qualities on walking behavior in Downtown Dallas. While the city has the potentials to experience growth in pedestrian activities, it is one of the least walkable cities in the nation. This is one of the first comprehensive walkability studies in Downtown Dallas.

For the purpose of this research, we collected data on 23 urban design features, 11 built environment variables and pedestrian counts for 402 street block faces in Dallas Downtown Improvement District over a six-month period, accounting for the time of the day (peak vs. non-peak hours). Also, an extensive GIS analysis was done to measure D variables (density, diversity, design, destination accessibility, and distance to transit) as built environmental factors previously identified in the literature.

Controlling for spatial autocorrelation, we found that, in addition to D variables, two out of five urban design qualities including imageability (“the quality of a place that makes it memorable”) and transparency (“degree to which people can see what lies beyond the edge of a street”) significantly influence pedestrian volume in downtown streets. Our results confirm the findings of two previous studies that used the same methodology. Policy makers may apply the results of this study to create more appealing and walkable places through implementation of these urban design features.

Keywords: Urban Design Qualities, Travel Behavior, Walkability, Built Environment, Downtown Dallas.


Track 3 Policy and Decision Making for Transportation Equity


  • Advocacy in Regional Transportation Funding Referendums_ Presenter: Ahmad Bonakdar (UTA CAPPA)

This study examines five metro areas in the US that have developed regional transportation systems using funding from multi-jurisdictional ballot referendums. This study focuses on the role of advocacy groups in contributing to the proposal given to the electorate, and in supporting or opposing it at the polls. This study examines how best practices for regions conducting transportation referendums should differ from those already in the literature for cities and counties doing the same. Through interviews in five regions that have conducted regional transportation referendums since 1990, the evidence indicates that advocacy groups were more likely to support the transportation plan, when they were involved in the process earlier, when the state government had pre-authorized the ballot referendum, and when the process was led by an established regional agency. In contrast, advocacy groups were less likely to do the same, when the referendum required special state legislation, and when there was no regional transportation provider to lead the effort.

Keywords: Advocacy, Local Option Tax, Funding, Regional Transportation


  • Does location matter? Performance Analysis of the Affordable Housing Programs thru Transportation Affordability in Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Metropolis_ Presenter: Jinat Jahan (UTA CAPPA)

Transportation costs are the second largest expenditure for a family, thus have a substantial influence on housing affordability. In an auto-oriented region like DFW, the situation is exacerbated for low income families to limited transportation options. This study seeks to evaluate the efficiency of major affordable housing programs for low income people in terms of transportation affordability. This study uses a rigorous methodology that involves a solid transportation cost modeling with disaggregated data available at property level for housing assistance programs in DFW. Our findings show that about 69% of the assisted units in DFW are unaffordable in terms of transportation costs. The majority of them are spending about 17% to 20% of their income on transportation. The most affordable program is Low Income Housing Tax Credit with 58% affordability rate and the least affordable program is the Continuum of Care with 9% affordability rate when accounting for transportation costs. We also found that almost all affordable units (regarding the transportation costs) are located in main economic hubs of the region such as Dallas and Fort Worth which have better access to jobs and public transit. In contrary, almost all housing properties in the areas between Dallas and Fort Worth are unaffordable. These are areas adjacent to the University of Texas at Arlington with a high number of transit dependent population and in Arlington, the biggest midsize city with no public transit. Our findings urge HUD to consider modifying these programs by incorporating the location-efficiency factors to ensure true affordability.

Keywords: Transportation Affordability, Housing Assistance Programs


Track 4 Evaluating Economic Impacts of Transportation Planning


  • Comparing Economic Outcome in TOD, TAD, and Hybrid Transit Stations in U.S. _ Presenter: Sahar Esfandyari (UTA CAPPA)

Transit-oriented Development (TOD) is an approach that many cities are practicing developing their transit systems. “In the last two decades, around 32% of LRT Stations in all U.S. cities have been developed to be TOD (Renne, et al., 2017, P.824). Many other cities are still developing their transit systems. TOD provides a higher quality of life, increases transit ridership, produces higher property values, and creates economic competitiveness. A growing number of studies report a relationship between new rail transit investment and job growth (Nelson et al., 2014).
Renne, Hamidi, and Ewing (2016), indicated that the higher the share of jobs and people living in areas accessible by fixed-guideway transit, the higher the predicted mode share for transit commuting at the station level. Renne (2013), also found that only six regions, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, and Eugene have more than 25% of jobs accessible within walking distance of the fixed-guideway transit networks.
Building upon pervious work of Renne and Ewing (2013) on classification of transit-oriented development (TOD), Hybrid, or transit-adjacent development (TAD) based on walkability and housing; this study examines affordability, job distribution by economic sectors, and wages as economic indicators among TODs, TADs, and Hybrid stations. The main question is:
What transit stations have significantly different economic outcomes than others?
ANOVA is the best method to analyze the variation between different groups and analyze the differences within the groups. Data was collected from the National TOD Database and LEHD database (2010), both open-sourced. The unit of analysis is a half mile buffer around the stations; because, the main attributes of TOD are moderate to high-density development located within an easy walk (1/2 mile or 800 m) of a major public transport stop (Olaru et al., 2011).
In This paper, results show there is a statistically significant difference between all stations at P value <0.05. The outcomes indicate that there is more job density near TOD stations than Hybrid and TAD stations and retail, education, and health jobs are more likely to appear near TOD stations than Hybrid and TAD stations. Moreover, housing is less affordable near Hybrid stations, as compared to TOD stations, and it is more affordable to live near Hybrid stations than TAD stations. Likewise, low wage workers located within a half mile of TOD stations is higher than TAD stations Correspondingly, based on the given results of this study, low income people choose to live in TOD communities to utilize the advantages of housing and transit affordability in these communities.

Keywords: Transit, TOD, economy, affordability, job share, ANOVA.


  • Empirical & Multidimensional Investigation of Transit Quality & Walking Amenities Impact on the Engines of Knowledge Economic Vitality_ Presenter: Ahoura Zandi (UTA CAPPA)

As of 2013, knowledge economy has held %10 of U.S. employment and generated nearly %20 of national GDP expecting to increase to %25 during the next 20 years. Three major engines of knowledge economic vitality are the Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS), creative class and innovation production. The framework of assessing the impact of transportation infrastructures on economic performance needs to meet the knowledge economy demands. Transit services, walkable street networks and dense neighborhoods that provide walkable access to urban amenities are the location preferences for creative class. Creative class, in turn, attracts KIBS, and produces innovation which are all contributive to the knowledge economic vitality. There is little empirical evidence on these complex multidimensional relationships and hence this study seeks to investigate both direct and indirect impacts of transit and walking amenities on three engines of knowledge economic vitality. Using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), we found that transit service quality and walkability matter for knowledge economy. Transit service quality affects creative class size and also number of KIBS. Our results also show that KIBS follow the creative human capital and as the knowledge-able labors prefer the walkable area with the optimal accessibility through transit service quality, KIBS location decision will be affected indirectly by the creative class size. In addition to walkability and transit service quality, our results on the impact of tolerance are aligned with Florida, Rausch and Negrey confirming that foreign born and bohemian residents lead to rise of creative class, number of KIBS and innovation production.

Keywords: Transit, Walkability, Knowledge Economy, KIBS, Creative Class, Innovation System




CSC, WTS, ITE and SPA End of Thea Year Happy Hour:



CSC Multimedia Competition

General Theme:General Theme:The entries should display and challenge the engagement of transportation infrastructure efficiency or inefficiency in diverse daily life.Are services around you provided for everybody equally?

Topics (Specify the related #topic in you submission):

1. Challenges, equity and transportation.

2. Transportation infrastructure and daily life.

3. Transportation and equal access.

4. Public participation and transportation related legislation.

5. Innovations and/or inventions in the transportation system.


Short movie category (5-7 minutes):

Each short movie entry should have a brief description (150 words maximum). Edits and filters that enhance the message of entries are encouraged.

1st Place $600 2nd Place $350 3rd Place $250

Photography (Captioned):

Each photography entry should have a caption (50 words maximum). Entry quality should be at least 250dpi. Photography entries should not be filtered or edited.

1st Place $400 2nd Place $250 3rd Place $150

This competition is open only to domestic CSC student members. CSC membership is open to all UTA students and staff, to get a membership. visit http://ctedd.uta.edu/csc-info/ or contact c-tedd@uta.edu

Entries will be displayed during CSC Symposium

Deadline: March 15th, 2018

For submission inquiries, contact: Hamid.hajjafari@uta.edu