Bryan Comer


To study the energy and environmental impacts of emissions associated with freight transportation, the Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transport (GIFT) model was created as a joint research collaborative between the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the University of Delaware (UD). The GIFT model is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based model that links the U.S. and Canadian water, rail, and road transportation networks through intermodal transfer facilities to create an intermodal network. The purpose of my thesis is to apply the GIFT model to examine potential public policies related to intermodal freight transportation in the Great Lakes region of the United States. My thesis will consist of two papers. The first paper will examine the environmental, economic, and time-of-delivery tradeoffs associated with freight transportation in the Great Lakes region and examine opportunities for marine vessels to replace a portion of heavy-duty trucks for containerized freight transport. The second paper will explore the potential benefits of using the Great Lakes as a corridor for short-sea shipping as part of a longer intermodal route. The intent of my thesis is to shed light on the current issues associated with freight transport in the Great Lakes region and present public policy alternatives to address said issues. Ideally, this thesis will better inform policymakers on the impacts and tradeoffs associated with freight transportation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Freight and freightage--Great Lakes Region (North America)--Energy consumption; International trade--Environmental aspects; Shipment of goods--Great Lakes Region (North America)--Energy consumption; Geospatial data; Geographic information systems

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of Science Technology and Society/Public Policy (CLA)


Winebrake, James


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: HE199.N7 C66 2009


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