1.201J | Fall 2006 | Graduate

Introduction to Transportation Systems


This section contains a list of required readings and a table showing readings by session.

Reading material for this subject consists of three elements:

  1. Introduction to Transportation Systems, text by Joseph M. Sussman,
  2. additional readings, and
  3. various handouts given in class.

Required Reading


Sussman, Joseph. Introduction to Transportation Systems. Norwood, MA: Artech House Publishers, 2000. ISBN: 1580531415.

Knowing you are dedicated students of transportation who also have good taste, we would expect you will read every golden word of this text at least once. However, given this subject is only 14 weeks long, we do not expect you to complete that reading during the subject. What you should read during the subject is shown in the lecture schedule.

This text grew out of the teaching of this subject. So, it supports and supplements the lectures.

Additional Readings

R1: TRB Executive Committee. “Critical Issues in Transportation 2005.” (PDF - 2.1 MB)

R2: United States Department of Transportation. “The Secretary’s Vision.” Department of Transportation Strategic Plan 2003-2008, September 2003 (pp. 1-10).

R3: Federal Transportation Advisory Board. “Vision 2050: An Integrated National Transportation System.” (PDF)

R4: Sussman, Joseph M. “Educating the New Transportation Professional.” ITS Quarterly (Summer 1995): 3-10.

R5: Pisarski, Alan E. “Prescriptions for Research: Reviewing the History of TRB’s Critical Issues in Transportation.” TR News 226 (May-June 2003): 30-35. (PDF - 1.1 MB)

R6: Transportation Research Board. “The Interstate Achievement: Getting There and Beyond.” TR News 244 (May-June 2006): 3-21 and 30-33. (PDF - 1.1 MB)

Buy at MIT Press R7: Manheim, Marvin L. “Challenge of Transportation Systems Analysis.” In Fundamentals of Transportation Systems Analysis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1979. ISBN: 0262632896.

R8: Gomez-Ibañez, Jose A., William B. Tye, and Clifford Winston. “Demand.” In Essays in Transportation Economics and Policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1999. ISBN: 0815731817.

R9: Martland, Carl. “Note on Infrastructure Costs.”

R10: Shrock, David L. “The Functional Approach to Motor Carrier Costing: Applications and Limitations.” Proceedings, 27th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Forum (1986): 181-188.

R11: Martland, Carl. “Allocating the Costs of Railroad Infrastructure to Specific Traffic Classes.” Proceedings of Workshop on Integrated Transportation and Economic Modeling (ITEM) 2001.

R12: ———. “Performance-Based Technology Scanning Applied to Containerizable Freight Traffic.” Journal of the Transportation Research Forum 57, no. 2 (2003): 119-34.

R13: Guo, Zhan, and Nigel H. M. Wilson. “Assessment of the Transfer Penalty for Transit Trips: A GIS-based Disaggregate Modeling Approach.” Transportation Research Record 1872 (2004): 10-18.

R14: Pucher, John, and Christian Lefevre. The Urban Transport Crisis in Europe and North America. London, UK: MacMillan, 1996, chapters 2, 9, and 10. ISBN: 0333627954.

R15: Furth, P. G., and N. Wilson. “Setting Frequencies on Bus Routes: Theory and Practice.” Transportation Research Record 818 (1981): 1-7.

R16: Kumar, Vimal, and Carl D. Martland. “Assessment of Current Project Evaluation Techniques.” Working Paper PE-1, September 2003.

R17: National Cooperative Highway Research Program. “Emerging Models for Delivering Transportation Programs and Services.” Research Results Digest 236 (March 1999).

R18: Molina, Luisa. Air Quality in the Mexico Megacity: An Integrated Assessment. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002. ISBN: 1402005075.

R19: Transportation Research Board. “New York City’s Subway Century.” TR News 242 (January-February 2006). (PDF - 1.1 MB)

R20: Coughlin, Joseph F., and Bryan Reimer. “New Demands from an Older Population: An Integrated Approach to Defining the Future of Older Driver Safety.” Proceedings of the SAE Convergence Conference (2006).


We will regularly distribute articles and newspaper clippings in class. By doing this, we hope to keep you abreast of current and developing issues in transportation as well as encourage you to get in the habit of reading newspapers and magazines from a transportation perspective. Sometimes we will include an article not explicitly on transportation to stretch your thinking. Occasionally we will ask that you read an article in preparation for discussion in the next class and, in these cases, the material should be considered required. However, most of the time these articles are provided strictly for your information and required reading should take higher priority. In addition, from time to time an article will be distributed “just for fun”. We hope that it will be clear to you which ones these are.

Readings by Session

This is a graduate subject and as students interested in transportation, you are expected to do the readings in the manner described above. However, the final will reflect only the material discussed in lecture, recitation sessions, assignments, and required readings.

Introduction / Concepts / Principles


Transportation as a Complex Socio-Technical System

2 Transportation Systems Components

R1 and R2.

Intro to TS. Chapters 1-4.



3 30 Key Points

Intro to TS. Chapters 6-9.


R4 and R5.

4 Class Discussion Based on Article Distributed R6
5 Modeling / Demand / Equilibrium


Intro to TS. Chapters 10-11.

6 Modeling / Demand / Equilibrium (cont.) R8
7 Costing

R9 and R10.

8 Costing (cont.)

R11 and R12.

Traveler Transportation
9 Traveler Level of Service


Intro to TS. Chapter 23.


Intro to TS. Chapter 22.


Urban Transportation and the Land-Use Connection

Mobility vs. Accessibility

Urban Form


Intro to TS. Chapter 21.

11 Urban Public Transportation Intro to TS. Chapter 28.
12 Urban Public Transportation (cont.) R15

Intercity Traveler Transportation

High-Speed Rail

International Contrasts

Intro to TS. Chapter 30.


Intro to TS. Chapter 29.

Freight Transportation / Logistics
14 Introduction to Freight / LOS / Logistics Intro to TS. Chapter 12.
15 LOS / Logistics (cont.) Intro to TS. Chapter 14.
16 Modes and their Characteristics — Costs / Service / Operations Intro to TS. Chapter 16.
17 Operations / Operating Plans / Strategic Plans Intro to TS. Chapters 17 and 19.
18 Freight Intermodalism / International Transportation Intro to TS. Chapter 20.
19 Project Evaluation and Finance R16
20 Public Policy Issues — Privatization R17
21 Transportation Technologies — Their Role and Limitations Intro to TS. Chapter 24.

Transportation in Developing Countries

Megacities — Mexico City (Demand Revisited)


Public Policy Issues:

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Transportation

Transportation and Regional Economic Development

24 Large Scale Infrastructure System — The New York City Subway



25 Public Policy Issues — Safety R20

Class Summary and Wrap-up

Review of Major Concepts

Student Evaluations and Comments

Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments