Current Director's Letter


 Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

This month has been quite exciting. Together, with our ITS partners at UC Davis, UC Irvine and UCLA, we have been hosting policy forums at the UC Center Sacramento that present the latest thinking and scientific insights on a range of transportation challenges facing our state and nation. We are specifically highlighting research that was made possible by our one-time $3 million funding augmentation last year and why continued augmentations are so necessary.

Our tireless efforts over the last year promoting ITS Centers and our research to secure increased funding has paid off in part. SB 1, the transportation funding bill, passed both houses of the legislature on April 7, 2017. The bill will become effective upon the Governor signing it, which we expect to be soon. The bill has a $5 million a year line item for transportation research at the University of California. While we don’t know exactly what this means yet, we are hopeful, and it appears this is the first time we have obtained a multi-year augmentation since 1947!

I want to thank everyone who helped secure the one-time $3 million augmentation last year, which laid the groundwork for a multi-year augmentation, and I’d like to thank those who continued the work this year. Our target remains a permanent $9 million a year augmentation, on which we will continue to work, to re-establish the funding levels we had in California in 1947 — had an inflator been added to the initial allocation of the state. It took two years to get us to where we are, I am confident we are on a good track for an even better future.

Each of the ITS branches and the UC Office of the President did an amazing job at securing the support we collectively needed all over California, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and we are grateful to our elected officials who have supported this bill and who have supported us as part of this bill, in particular Senator Jim Beall, author of the bill, Assemblymember Jim Frazier, and Cal alum Assemblymember Richard Bloom. If any of you happen to meet them in the future, please thank them for their support to UC and for their support for ITS. They were our champions.

I would also like to announce and congratulate the winners of this year’s ITS Awards. We had a number of awesome nominations, and I was excited to see all the great work we are doing at ITS and its Centers. Thank you to everyone who contributes to making ITS Berkeley so strong.

ITS Distinguished Legacy Award
Elizabeth Deakin

ITS Faculty of the Year
Trevor Darrell

ITS Team Leadership Award
Wei-Bin Zhang

ITS Culture of Excellence
Greg Merritt

ITS Distinguished Service
Kiki (Kiernan) Flaherty, UCOP

ITS Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Cathy Wu

ITS Outstanding Undergraduate Award
Mark Jaffee

Distinguished Award for Advancement of Research and Innovation
Joint award: Gillian Gillett, Jay Nath, City of San Francisco

We will be celebrating this year’s award winners at our end of year gathering in December, so stay tuned. Thank you all for being such a great community.

 

Go Bears!

Alexandre Bayen
ITS Director

 

April 2017

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