The Institute of Transportation Studies Berkeley (ITS Berkeley) recently hosted the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies (UC ITS) Board of Advisors at the Faculty Club on the UC Berkeley campus Feb. 21, 2020.
As part of a statewide initiative to present information and receive feedback, UC ITS held Board of Advisors meetings across the state in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Berkeley to bring together the Council of Directors and key staff from UC ITS, ITS Berkeley, ITS Davis, ITS Irvine, and ITS UCLA with regional and statewide Transportation, Government, and Policy leaders.
“We have had great conversations and exchanges of ideas and knowledge at these meetings, and we hope to see new partnerships and projects come out of these exchanges,” says ITS Berkeley Director Alexandre Bayen.
Board of Advisors Members and Delegates at the Berkeley meeting include: State Senator Jim Beall, San Francisco County Transportation Authority Executive Director Tilly Chang, CA Air Resources Board Deputy Executive Officer Steve Cliff , Natural Resources Defense Council Climate & Clean Energy Program Managing Director Roland Hwang, Contra Costa Transportation Authority Executive Director Randell Iwasaki, CA Energy Commission Commissioner Patricia Monahan, Sacramento Area Council of Governments Planning and Programs Deputy Executive Director Kacey Lizon, UCOP Research Strategy & Portfolio Manager Emily Rader, and Wadell Engineering Corporation President/CEO Robert Wadell; in Sacramento on Jan. 31, 2020 include: Governor's Office of Planning and Research Director Kate Gordon, Senate Budget Committee Principal Consultant James Hacker, Majestic Realty Company Senior Vice President Fran Inman, Caltrans Innovative Mobility Solutions Deputy Secretary Lori Pepper, CA Transit Association Legislative & Regulatory Advocate Michael Pimentel, Assembly Transportation Committee Consultant David Sforza, and Southern California Association of Governments Executive Director Kome Ajise; and in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 2020 include: Assembly Member Richard Bloom, Center for Urban Infrastructure Director Sarah Catz, Iteris, Inc. Senior Vice President Ramin Massoumi, LA Metro Chief Executive Officer Phillip Washington, CA Transportation Commission Chief Deputy Director Mitchell Weiss, and Southern CA Regional Rail Authority in Los Angeles Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Wiggins.
Chair of the UC ITS Council of Directors Brian Taylor, UCLA ITS Director, briefed participants on the UC ITS FY 2018-19 Research and Engagement Achievements.
- To date, the expanded Statewide Transportation Research Program has supported over 200 research projects, almost half of which are now complete
- During FY 2018/19, UC ITS completed 26 research projects on a wide array of policy-relevant topics
- Ongoing projects include 55 that are new for FY 2019/20
- FY 2018/19 saw 44 projects, nine were fully completed in 2019, 35 projects are slated for completion and dissemination during the first half of 2020
Communication and Engagement Highlights:
- UC ITS Innovative Mobility Forum for UC Researchers
- Innovative Mobility Roundtables
- Legislative Briefings
- UC ITS E-Newsletter
- The City and County Pavement Improvement Center
California Innovative Mobility Initiative (CA IMI) Director Susan Shaheen, UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) Co-Director, gave an overview about the Initiative and talked about the recently published white paper from the group.
As vehicle automation coupled with clean vehicles and rapid adoption of new app-based mobility services provides an opportunity to reimagine the way people and goods move, CA IMI, under the leadership of the UC ITS, aims to support California’s policy goals related to climate change, equity, housing, and the economy. Envisioned as a collaboration among government, the private sector, non-profit community, and academia to define California’s next generation transportation system and policy agenda, CA IMI will: 1) develop and implement a multi-year, strategic policy and research agenda; 2) evaluate and scale pilot projects and disseminate results, and 3) provide technical assistance and training with a focus on local agencies.
Advisors also learned about the CalEPA Study to Achieve Carbon Neutrality in the Transportation Sector by 2045, which involved researchers from UC ITS organizations across the state for CalEPA.
Researcher and TSRC Co-Director Tim Lipman presented the work revolving around the study to support the state’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. The California Environmental Protection Agency is coordinating the study and contracted with UC ITS to identify strategies to significantly reduce transportation-related fossil fuel demand and emissions, including transitioning to zero emission vehicles, accelerating the use of alternative fuel sources, and reducing vehicle miles traveled. The research team is in the very early stages of this project with a draft report expected in October 2020.
Key takeaways from members of the Board of Advisors in Berkeley included: impressive scope and speed within UC ITS for research and results, ease of putting research into implementation through policy, fostering partnerships for research and implementation, providing easily readable materials and policy briefs, breaking down silos between stakeholders interested in transportation issues, and providing avenues and tools to advance transportation goals.