Susan Shaheen

Job title: 
Transportation Sustainability Research Center, Co-Director And Innovative Mobility Research Lab, Director
Transportation Sustainability Research Center
Innovative Mobility Research
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Susan Shaheen is a pioneer in future mobility strategies. She was among the first to observe, research, and write about the changing dynamics in shared mobility and the likely scenarios through which automated vehicles will gain prominence. She is an internationally recognized expert in innovative mobility strategies and a Professor In-Residence in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. She also co-directs the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) of the Institute of Transportation Studies – Berkeley. She was the first Honda Distinguished Scholar in Transportation at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis from 2000 to 2012. She served as the Policy and Behavioral Research Program Leader at California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways from 2003 to 2007, and as a special assistant to the Director’s Office of the California Department of Transportation from 2001 to 2004.

She has a Ph.D. in ecology, with an emphasis on transportation engineering, from UC Davis and a M.S. in public policy analysis from the University of Rochester. After completing her master’s degree, she worked as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. From 2000 to 2001, she was a post-doctoral researcher at UC Berkeley. She has authored 76 journal articles, over 125 reports and proceedings articles, 19 book chapters, and co-edited two books.

Her research projects on carsharing, smart parking, and older mobility have received national awards. In May 2019, she received the Most Influential Paper Award from the World Conference on Transportation Research (awarded every three years) for her 2016 journal article in Transport Policy: “Just a Better Taxi? A Survey-Based Comparison of Taxis, Transit, and Ridesourcing Services in San Francisco.” In December 2018, she received the Institute of Transportation Studies-Berkeley’s faculty of the year award. She received the 2017 Roy W. Crum award from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for her distinguished achievements in transportation research. In May 2016, she was named one of the top 10 academic thought leaders in transportation by the Eno Transportation Foundation. In 2010 and 2007, she received an “Excellence in Management” award from UC Berkeley.

In January 2021, she was named Chair of TRB’s Executive Committee; she was the Vice Chair from 2020 to 2021. She served on the ITS World Congress program committee from 2002 to 2014 and was the chair of the Emerging and Innovative Public Transport and Technologies Committee of TRB (AP020) from 2004 to 2011. She also served as chair of the subcommittee for Shared-Use Vehicle Public Transport Systems of TRB from 2013 to 2020.

She serves as a desk editor for Transport Policy and as an Associate Editor for Transportation Research, Part A; Travel Behaviour and Society; and the Transportation Research Record. She a member of numerous editorial boards including: Transportation Research, Part D; the International Journal of Sustainable Transportation (IJST)l Sustainable Engineering and Science Section, Sustainability; Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability; and Case Studies of Transport Policy. She was on the editorial board of the International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology from 2016 to 2018. She also served as a guest editor for Transport Policy, Energies, and IJST. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (2019 to Present) and the Mobile Source Technical Review Subcommittee to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (2016 to Present). She also served as a member of the ITS Program Advisory Committee to the U.S. DOT Secretary (2014 to 2018).

Research interests: 

Policy and behavioral research as it relates to the adoption of new transportation technologies and innovative services including carsharing (short-term vehicle access), bikesharing (short-term bicycle access), ridesharing, transportation network companies, and smart parking management, as well as user acceptance of alternative fuel vehicles. Automated vehicles and the sharing economy or collaborative consumption, as it relates to mobility, are key focus areas of her work. This research involves the development of methodological approaches including survey design; innovative data collection approaches (e.g., real-time data, activity data); focus groups; expert interviews; impact analysis, and policy analysis.