Tina Geiselbrecht is a Safe-D faculty researcher at TTI working on Safe-D Project 02-010: Safety Perceptions of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) by the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI). Safe-D Student Alexis Basantis interviewed Ms. Geiselbrecht as part of the the Safe-D Student and Faculty Interview Chain. Read on to learn more about Ms. Geiselbrecht and her research!
What are your research interests?
My interests are in quantitative and qualitative research methods of public opinion and how those findings can innovate public engagement processes.
What did you obtain your degree(s) in and where?
My undergraduate degree is in Economic Geography from the University of Texas at Austin and my Master’s degree is in Geography and Planning from Texas State University.
How did you end up working at your current institute? Describe the path that led you to your current position.
I have been at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute for the past 23 years. I began in an administrative position and then transitioned into research, focused mainly on pricing and tolling. Specifically I was interested in the public’s reaction to new transportation funding and delivery mechanisms. This has since broadened to how and when we engage the public in transportation planning, how to make that more meaningful, how to accurately reflect what the public is telling us, and how to evaluate our efforts. I have a special interest in ensuring that public engagement is inclusive of all potentially affected parties.
How did you hear about the Safe-D National UTC and how did you get involved with this Safe-D project?
TTI is a partner in the Safe-D National UTC.
Please describe your Safe-D project, including how you will be conducting/have conducted your study/studies, any major findings thus far that you can share publicly, and how the outcomes of your project will impact transportation safety.
Our research project focused on TNC use by the blind and visually impaired community. This is often overlooked population that depends heavily on taxis, friends, relatives, etc. for transportation. TNCs have the ability to greatly impact/improve accessibility for this group. However, there are many concerns regarding the use of TNCs by this group. The research identified these issues and suggested mitigation measures.
How is your team sharing the results of your project with other transportation researchers, practitioners, and/or the general public?
As part of the project, a webinar was presented and a TRB paper was written. Results were also included in a poster for the American Association of Public Opinion Research.
Do you expect any follow-on studies to result from the work that you are conducting/have conducted?
There has been considerable media attention about this issue because of the proliferation of Uber and Lyft in major metro areas and the policy issues surrounding their operation.
What advice do you have for a student, like me, who is pursuing a similar career path as yourself?
It sounds trite, but find what you love and what ignites your curiosity.
The Safe-D Student and Faculty Interview Chain was created to encourage Safe-D students to facilitate contact with faculty and staff members participating on Safe-D projects via conducting a brief interview as a networking and career-building opportunity. To learn more about this initiative, please contact Safe-D Program Manager, Eric Glenn.