The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute is Penn State’s transportation research center — a major, multidisciplinary unit within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Since its inception in 1968, the Larson Transportation Institute has maintained a threefold mission of research, education, and service. It is the locus for transportation-related research conducted by Penn State faculty from more than 14 colleges and research centers, with areas of specialization ranging from civil, computer, electrical, architectural, industrial, and mechanical engineering to agriculture, information sciences and technology, supply chain management, economics, geography, psychology, and statistics. The institute provides a unique focal point of collaboration for expert faculty and enterprising students from across the University together with public and private stakeholders to address critical transportation-related needs of the individual user and the world at large.
In an effort to reduce air pollution caused by large diesel trucks and large vehicles, Penn State follows the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act (Act 124). The act reduces unnecessary idling of the main propulsion engine in diesel-powered motor vehicles, including trucks and buses, by imposing time limits while engaged in commerce. Act 124 restricts diesel idling to 5 minutes in any continuous 60-minute time period for diesel-powered vehicles with a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more engaged in commerce. There are exemptions allowed.