James (Jimmy) Cardenas is an associate transportation researcher in the Transit Mobility Program at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. His research experience at TTI includes regional transit coordination planning, geospatial analysis, case study research, survey research, financial analysis, and data analysis, specifically involving National Transit Database (NTD) data and other transit databases.
Jimmy has contributed work to several TCRP publications. He was a co-author for TCRP Research Report 192: Decision-Making Toolbox to Plan and Manage Park-and-Ride Facilities, authoring two chapters for the guidebook and authoring case studies. Jimmy has also authored a case study for TCRP Synthesis 134 – Customer-Focused Service Guarantees and Transparency Practices. More recently, he was a part of the research teams for TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SA-44 Comprehensive Bus Network Redesigns and TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SF-20 Managing the Transit Scheduling Workforce, providing case study research and survey analysis.
Jimmy recently led the effort to analyze ridership declines in rural areas across Texas. He also recently led a project analyzing demographic data and forecasting funding needs for rural and urban state funded transit districts in Texas. This effort was included in the state’s long-range transportation plan, Texas Transportation Plan 2050. Jimmy is currently leading several projects involving regionally-coordinated transportation planning (Coordinated Public Transit Human Services Transportation Plans).
- M.S., Community and Regional Planning, The University of Texas at Austin, 2015
- B.A., Urban Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, 2010
- Member, Austin Chapter, Young Professionals in Transportation
- Member, American Public Transportation Association
TTI Tenure / Total Industry Tenure
5 Years / 6 Years
- Regional Transit Planning
- Transportation and Land Use Planning
- Spatial Data Analysis
- Health, Safety and Social Issues in Transit
- Transportation Demand Analysis
- Environmental Planning
Selected Projects, Publications, and Presentations
Texas Rural Ridership Decline (2019). (Principle Investigator). Led the effort to explore and identify potential factors contributing to declining ridership in rural transit districts in Texas. The project included a literature review, an exploratory analysis, and qualitative analysis via discussions with rural transit agencies.
Texas Transportation Plan 2050 (2019). (Principle Investigator). Led the effort to assist TxDOT Public Transportation Division (PTN) to analyze data and organize information to ensure rural and state urban transit systems in Texas are represented in the statewide transportation plan, Texas Transportation Plan 2050. TTI also conducted a survey to update the current transit facility inventory and assess future facility and fleet needs. Led forecasting efforts to estimate dollar amounts through 2050 to replace, rebuild or construct new facilities.
Texas Transit Needs Assessment Update (2017). Collected data from transit districts to be used for the gap analysis and produced several transit cost inflation indices for small urban and rural systems in Texas using NTD and state data sets.
Identifying Transportation Solutions That Promote Healthy Aging for Texas (2017). Created a Mobility Needs Index (MoNI) focusing on aging population in Texas. Reviewed and inventoried existing transportation options for older Texans (Link).
TCRP Report 192: Decision Making Toolbox to Plan and Manage Park-and-Ride Facilities for Public Transportation (2015-2017). Contributing researcher, authored two guidebook chapters and contributed to case study research (Link).
Regional Coordination Plan, Middle Rio Grande Region (TX) (2015). Oversaw all project tasks, including baseline demographic data, regional transit and funding needs assessment and regional coordination planning goals. Met regularly in person with sponsors and presented the findings to the regional stakeholder committee.
- Associate Transportation Researcher, Transit Mobility Program, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, September 2019 – Present
- Assistant Transportation Researcher, Transit Mobility Program, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, September 2015 – 2019
- Graduate Assistant Research, Transit Mobility Program, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, September 2014 – August 2015
- Planning Intern, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, April 2014 – August 2014
- Strategic Planning Intern, VIA Metropolitan Transit, June 2009 – August 2009