Gudmundsson, H., Hall, R. P., Marsden, G., & Zietsman, J. (2016). Sustainable transportation: Indicators, frameworks, and performance management. Springer, 304 pages.

Journal Articles

Jeddi Yeganeh, A., Hall, R., Pearce, A., & Hankey, S. (2018). A social equity analysis of the U.S. public transportation system based on job accessibility. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 11(1), 1039–1056.

Keywords: Social sustainability, transit equity, the Gini Index, equality, justice.

Abstract: Access to quality public transportation is critical for employment, especially for low-income and minority populations. This study contributes to previous work on equity analyses of the U.S. public transportation system by including the 45 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in a single analysis. Year-2014 Census demographic data were combined with an existing 2014 dataset of transit job accessibility. Then, transit equality and justice indicators were developed and a regression analysis was performed to explore trends in transit job accessibility by race and income. The findings suggest that within individual MSAs, low-income populations and minorities have the highest transit job accessibility. However, the overall transit ridership is low, and in certain MSAs with high transit job accessibility both high and low income populations have high access levels but middle income populations do not. Within individual MSAs, on average, accessibility differences by income are greater than accessibility differences by race. The relative importance of race versus income for injustice increases with MSA size. In upper mid-size and large MSAs, differences by race increase. Also, the differences by race are greater among low-income populations. Accessibility-related equality and justice indicators are only one of many issues that comprise the wider discussion of equity.

Bryce, J. M., Flintsch, G., & Hall, R. P. (2014). A multi criteria decision analysis technique for including environmental impacts in sustainable infrastructure management business practices. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 32, 435–445.

Keywords: Sustainability, decision analysis, pavement management, energy consumption, sustainable infrastructure management.

PlumX Metrics

Abstract: This paper presents a decision analysis technique to allow highway agencies to assess the tradeoffs between costs, condition and energy consumption. It is shown how the entire feasible solution space can be evaluated between multiple stakeholders with differing values to assess the desirability of the outcomes resulting from infrastructure management decisions. Furthermore, an example network-level analysis is presented using data from the Virginia Department of Transportation. The example analysis clearly shows a tradeoff between the most cost effective outcomes (i.e., minimizing the cost divided by the condition) and the outcomes where the energy consumption is minimized, and how decision analysis should account for this tradeoff. The results of the method presented in this paper show that various pavement management alternatives can be represented in terms of desirability, and that this desirability can assist the decision maker with making decisions about performance goals and targets.

Ramani, T. L., Zietsman, J., Gudmundsson, H., Hall, R. P., & Marsden, G. (2011). Framework for Sustainability Assessment by Transportation Agencies. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2242(1), 9–18.

Keywords: Sustainable transportation, assessment, framework, transportation agencies, metrics, indicators.


Abstract: The application of the concept of sustainability by transportation agencies is often limited by agencies’ understanding of what sustainability means and how it can be integrated into the regular functions of the agencies. This paper presents a flexible approach and framework that can equip transportation agencies with the tools required to understand what sustainability means and incorporate sustainability into the organizational culture. This approach and method can also help agencies lay the groundwork for the use of performance measures so the agencies can progress toward sustainability goals and outcomes. The framework development process was an extension of findings from literature review, case studies, and interviews conducted as part of ongoing research under the NCHRP project Sustainability Performance Measures for State Departments of Transportation and Other Transportation Agencies. The proposed framework can be applied or adapted for use in a range of transportation agencies, including state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations. A key feature of this framework is that it moves away from the traditional sustainable transportation perspective and instead promotes the consideration of transportation from a holistic sustainable development perspective. The framework defines broadly applicable transportation goals that can be broken down into a menu of objectives and performance measures to cover various transportation contexts. The framework is also designed to direct an agency’s strategic planning toward the practical implementation of sustainability through performance measurement.

Book Chapters

Hall, R. P., Gudmundsson, H., Marsden, G., & Zietsman, J. (2014). Sustainable Transportation. In M. Garrett, Encyclopedia of Transportation: Social Science and Policy. SAGE Publications, Inc.


Hall, R. P. (2006). Understanding and applying the concept of sustainable development to transportation planning and decision-making in the U.S. Dissertation, Technology, Management, and Policy Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Abstract: This research demonstrates that sustainable development is a multidimensional concept that should be approached in a transdisciplinary manner. Its objective has been to synthesize and integrate disparate and currently unconnected lines of thought that have not yet been applied in a systematic way to promote sustainable development and sustainable transportation. The primary contribution of this research is the theoretical development of a decision-support framework that identifies the tools and approaches that decision-makers could/should use to create policies and programs that transition society towards sustainability. These tools and approaches are either articulated or developed by the author throughout the dissertation. Specific ideas explored include a Rawlsian/utilitarian decision-making philosophy; a hybrid trade-off/positional analysis framework that is presented as an alternative to benefit-cost analysis; ecological vs. environmental economics; participatory backcasting; and ways to stimulate disrupting and/or radical technological innovation.

To identify gaps that exist between theory and practice, the approach embodied in the proposed sustainable transportation decision-support framework is compared with current metropolitan transportation planning and decision-making processes in the U.S. The framework is then used to consider how the U.S. federal government might move the nation’s transportation system towards sustainability. 

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta (14th United States Secretary of Transportation) and Ralph Hall (CUTC Awards Ceremony, 2003)

Hall, R. P. (2002). Introducing the Concept of Sustainable Transportation to the U.S. DOT through the Reauthorization of TEA-21. Thesis, Technology and Policy Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA.


  • Best Thesis Award, TPP, MIT, 2002

Abstract: Transportation is linked to all aspects of human life. Our natural environment, economic prosperity, and social well being all depend on transportation systems that are safe, clean, efficient, and equitable. However, current predictions suggest that transportation growth is unsustainable. It threatens our environmental, economic, and social future. Altering and managing trends in transportation presents a significant challenge and will require the cooperation of all stakeholders at local, regional, national and international levels.

This research identifies the core issues of the sustainable transportation debate and presents a review of major publications on the topic. Of particular interest is the relationship between the sustainability of the transportation sector itself and sustainable development in a global context. The results show that there is growing international agreement on the concept of sustainable transportation and that progress can and is being made towards a more sustainable transportation sector in the U.S.. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations that are designed to enhance the performance of the U.S. transportation planning and programming process, including recommended alterations to TEA-21 that will move the act towards a more sustainable agenda.