Tierra S. Bills is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. She specializes in the measurement of transportation planning and system outcomes, and travel demand modeling, with a special emphasis on transportation equity. Dr. Bills brings a unique and innovative perspective to the challenge of transportation inequity, aimed at impacting transportation science, practice, and quality of life for disadvantaged communities. She has worked in the transportation equity domain since 2009 and her current work builds off this long track record, including her master’s research, dissertation work, study and training as a Research Scientist at IBM Research, Michigan Society Fellowship research, and previous work as an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University.
Dr. Bills has extensive training in travel demand modeling and is engaged in ongoing work on representation of transport disadvantaged groups in household travel surveys, which are traditionally used to estimate and validate travel demand models. This is the first step to developing travel models capable of reflecting the preferences and behaviors of disadvantaged travelers and fine-grain transportation equity outcomes. Dr. Bills also works to advance accessibility measurement for transportation project evaluation, and develops strategies for ranking alternative transportation plans using equity-based criteria. Her work is published in a range of journals including Transport Policy and Transportation Research Record, and a recent contribution to the popular planning research press: The Metropole. She also currently serves as a Guest Editor on a Special Issue of Transportation Research Part D.
Dr. Bills has a strong record of advocacy for transportation equity and representation in STEM fields, including providing testimony for the a U.S. House of Representatives’ subcommittee hearing (see: https://science.house.gov/hearings/field-hearing-smart-mobility-its-a-community-issue), membership on the Equity in Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and co-developing an entry on her research in the ColorMePhD coloring book series (see: https://ce.berkeley.edu/news/2511).
Dissertation: Enhancing Transportation Equity Analysis for Long-Range Planning and Decision Making
Advisor: Joan Walker
Ph.D. 2013, University of California, Berkeley (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
M.S. 2009, University of California, Berkeley (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
B.S 2008, Florida A&M University (Civil Engineering Technology)
- Travel Behavior Modeling
- Transportation Equity
- Transportation Economics
- Emerging Data for Travel Modeling
- Public Transportation