Today’s MUP guest post is from Dan B., a student in our program who’s an employee of Transport Canada by day and a killer DJ by night.
For my summer internship I’m continuing my work with Transport Canada’s Transportation Development Centre (TDC), where I have been a Research Officer since 2007. TDC is Transport Canada’s centre of expertise for multi-modal research and development “aimed at improving the safety, security, energy efficiency, and accessibility of the Canadian transportation system.” I am responsible for managing a research and development program for accessible transportation for persons with disabilities.
Since the end of the school year, I have been wrapping up two projects that have recently come to an end. The first project involved an extensive study into the use of 3- and 4-wheel mobility scooters. These mobility aids have become quite popular for persons who are ambulatory, but have reduce mobility (i.e.: they can walk short distances). While the use of these mobility aids has become widespread, they fall within a regulatory gray zone. Municipalities, provinces and transportation providers have been grappling with how to accommodate these mobility aids. One of the main challenges is how to define these types of scooters (e.g.: is it classified as a pedestrian, or a vehicle), especially when manufacturers offer them in such a wide variety of sizes and speeds. A final report, which will provide guidance to provinces and municipalities, will be released in the near future.
The second project involves the application of advanced communication technology (such as smart phones) to help persons who are blind find their way on board passenger aircraft. This project involved reviewing available technologies, understanding boarding scenarios for passengers who are blind (from check-in to deplaning) and developing a pilot test. By testing this kind of system on board a technically restrictive environment such as an aircraft, it is hoped that it will be easily applied to other modes (such as rail and bus). A working paper for this project is available and I will be submitting it to the US Transportation Research Board’s proceedings for their annual meeting.
I have also been spending as much time as I can enjoying Montreal’s epic summer and pursuing my passion for radio and music. Since February of 2012 I have been broadcasting a bi-weekly two hour music radio show on CKUT 90.3 FM (www.ckut.ca) called City Sound Underground (www.citysoundunderground.com). The show features new and classic House and Techno music mixed live on the air. There are also guest segments and interviews with prominent Montreal Djs and musicians. You can tune in every other Tuesday night / Wednesday morning from 12 am to 2 am.