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Updated: 25 min 15 sec ago

Measurable Commute Reduction and the War on SOV, Feb 23

Fri, 2018-02-23 23:33
Abstract: This talk will cover: SB375’s 15% per capita driving reduction goal, auto-centered Silicon Valley versus transit-centered Helsinki, Proposition 26 (Chevron spent $3.4 backing it) as barrier to protecting the climate, public policy political viability comparison, trip caps, carrot/stick, state bills, city ordinances, and next generation employer commute programs. The talk will take a closer look at the Fair Value Commuting (FVC) carrot/stick policy for standing out for political viability: Stanford University’s sophisticated commute program reduced SOV commuting from 75 to 50 percent, by charging SOV fees and offering incentives toward taking alternative commute modes. The FVC project develops a next generation system that borrows from Stanford’s. Legislation could phase in a $3.00 SOV fee and equivalent incentives, implemented at no cost to employers. System components include enterprise & smartphone apps, incentives/fees, electric scooter/bike, microtransit, and advanced ridesharing. “Fair Value Commuting is a case study for the nation - exceedingly innovative. The self-funding, financially sustainable, unsubsidized business model is unique among the FTA Mobility on Demand Sandbox projects.” – FTA MOD Program Manager Christina Gikakis.

Bio: Cervero-disciple Steve Raney is Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Smart Mobility Director. Steve’s body of work includes: WayMo autonomous vehicle commercialization plan; Ultra PRT autonomous electric transit; EPA’s Transforming Office Parks study; and ten last mile studies. Steve has five degrees. Recent papers:,

Leveraging Big Data to Improve Operational Performance, Reliability, and Efficiency, Feb 9

Fri, 2018-02-09 22:34
Abstract: The existing public transit infrastructure in the United States already generates a tremendous amount of data, however, this information is often not used as effectively as it could be. In this session, we will discuss some of the ways that Swiftly is leveraging billions of data points to help transit agencies improve operational performance, reliability, and efficiency.

Bio: Jonny Simkin is the Co-founder and CEO of Swiftly, a big data platform that helps public transit agencies improve their operational performance, service reliability, and real-time passenger information. Swiftly currently works with more than 35 cities and impacts the lives of over 2 million transit riders every day. Prior to founding Swiftly, Jonny was the Director of Product at Rafter Inc., where he helped 3 million students save over $700 million on college textbooks. Before Rafter, Jonny was the Co-founder and CEO of HubEdu, Inc. which was acquired by Rafter in 2012. Jonny holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with an Economics Concentration from Harvey Mudd College. In his spare time, he enjoys hockey, ping pong, tennis, and coffee.

Car-sharing Network Optimization Driven by High-resolution Data, Simulation and Discrete Optimization, Feb 2

Fri, 2018-02-02 23:31
Abstract: With the increase in connectivity and in real-time responsiveness, travelers and vehicles are becoming "real-time optimizers" of their trips. The urban mobility challenges and breakthroughs of the next decades will be marked by our ability to optimize the aggregate performance of large-scale transportation systems while accounting for how the hundreds of thousands of "real-time optimizers" will locally interact among themselves and with the infrastructure. In this talk, we present modeling and optimization methods that address this challenge. First, we consider the design of car-sharing services for Boston and New York City. We develop methods to estimate the spatial temporal distribution of demand for car-sharing and to optimize the distribution of vehicles across the city. The methods combine detailed car-sharing reservation data, sampling techniques and a discrete simulation-based optimization algorithm. Second, we consider the problem of estimating travel demand for a large-scale urban area. The design of computationally efficient demand calibration algorithms is essential for transportation practice. We present an efficient algorithm, and we illustrate its efficiency with case studies of Berlin and Singapore.

Bio: Carolina Osorio is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and in the Operations Research Center (ORC) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her work develops operations research techniques to inform the design and operations of urban mobility systems. It focuses on simulation-based optimization algorithms for, and analytical probabilistic modeling of, congested urban road networks. She was recognized as one of the outstanding early-career engineers in the US by the National Academy of Engineering's EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, and is the recipient of a US National Science Foundation CAREER Award, an MIT CEE Maseeh Excellence in Teaching Award, an MIT Technology Review EmTech Colombia TR35 Award, an IBM Faculty Award and a European Association of Operational Research Societies (EURO) Doctoral Dissertation Award.

Big Data and Cartography, Jan 31

Wed, 2018-01-31 23:35
Maps are an increasingly important tool for interrogating, disseminating and communicating large and complex geographic datasets. This talk will outline the ways in which innovative cartography can be used to inform researchers, and the public more broadly, about the value, and pitfalls, of “Big Data”. It will draw insights from three highly successful mapping projects that have sought to capitalise on the increased availability of geographic data. The first is an online platform ( that visualizes and provides access to the UK Census, while the second and third examples are two books entitled London: The Information Capital and Where the Animals Go. These seek to demonstrate the power of maps to widen the reach of complex datasets in the context of cities (in the case of London) and zoology and conservation (in the case of Animals). All three examples have enjoyed interest from a large audience and been used to advocate for greater access to data for geographic research.

Commute Time Quality: Exploring the role of mode and other factors using the UC Davis Campus Travel Survey, Jan 26

Fri, 2018-01-26 23:32
Abstract: Workers worldwide spend a significant share of their time each week getting to and from work. With a finite number of hours in a day, workers are clearly affected by their amount of commute time, but their well-being is also likely to depend on their quality of commute time. Building on recent work on subjective well-being in the transportation field, we use data from an annual survey of students and employees at the University of California, Davis to examine factors associated with three commute characteristics that have direct ties to well-being: perceptions that commute time is wasted time, perceptions that the commute is stressful, and liking of travel modes. Results show that bicycle commuters report the most positive scores on all three measures. Among undergraduate students, those taking the bus to campus are far more stressed than those bicycling to campus. Among those living outside of Davis, train riders have the highest quality commutes. These results suggest a well-being rationale for the university to invest in programs that reduce driving to campus, adding to the existing financial and environmental rationales for such programs. This study further underscores the increasingly recognized importance of collecting data on qualitative aspects of travel.

Bio: Dr. Susan Handy is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and the Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at the University of California, Davis. She is well known for her research on the relationships between transportation and land use, particularly the impact of neighborhood design on travel behavior. Her current work focuses on bicycling as a mode of transportation and on strategies for reducing automobile dependence.

Traffic Congestion Control: A PDE backstepping perspective, Jan 19

Fri, 2018-01-19 23:37
Abstract: Control of freeway traffic using ramp metering is a "boundary control" problem when modeling is approached using widely adopted coupled hyperbolic PDE models of the Aw-Rascle-Zhang type, which include the velocity and density states, and which incorporate a model of driver reaction time. Unlike the "free traffic" regime, in which ramp metering can affect only the dynamics downstream of the ramp, in the "congested traffic" regime ramp metering can be used to suppress stop-and-go oscillations both downstream and upstream of the ramp – though not both simultaneously. Controlling the traffic upstream of a ramp is harder – and more interesting – because, unlike in free traffic, the control input doesn’t propagate at the speed of the vehicles but at a slower speed, which depends on a weighted difference between the vehicle speed and the traffic density. I will show how PDE backstepping controllers, which have been effective recently in oil drilling and production applications (similarly modeled by coupled hyperbolic PDEs), can help stabilize traffic, even in the absence of distributed measurements of vehicle speed and density, and when driver reaction times are unknown.

Biography: Miroslav Krstic is Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, holds the Alspach endowed chair, and is the founding director of the Cymer Center for Control Systems and Dynamics at UC San Diego. He also serves as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at UCSD. As a graduate student, Krstic won the UC Santa Barbara best dissertation award and student best paper awards at CDC and ACC. Krstic has been elected Fellow of seven scientific societies - IEEE, IFAC, ASME, SIAM, AAAS, IET (UK), and AIAA (Assoc. Fellow) - and as a foreign member of the Academy of Engineering of Serbia. He has received the ASME Oldenburger Medal, Nyquist Lecture Prize, Paynter Outstanding Investigator Award, Ragazzini Education Award, Chestnut textbook prize, the PECASE, NSF Career, and ONR Young Investigator awards, the Axelby and Schuck paper prizes, and the first UCSD Research Award given to an engineer. Krstic has also been awarded the Springer Visiting Professorship at UC Berkeley, the Distinguished Visiting Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Invitation Fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and honorary professorships from four universities in China. He serves as Senior Editor in IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control and Automatica, as editor of two Springer book series, and has served as Vice President for Technical Activities of the IEEE Control Systems Society and as chair of the IEEE CSS Fellow Committee. Krstic has coauthored twelve books on adaptive, nonlinear, and stochastic control, extremum seeking, control of PDE systems including turbulent flows, and control of delay systems.

IDM-04 Asphalt Pavement Maintenance and Rehabilitation, Dec 7

Thu, 2017-12-07 22:36
Asphalt pavement is a major component of our transportation system. Transportation agencies at the city and county level can maximize the value of their huge investment in streets and roads by using proper pavement maintenance strategies. This course provides a solid working knowledge of the most common pavement maintenance and preservation practices. Basic principles, best field practices and safety issues are covered. This course is based on Day 3 of the IDM-03 Asphalt Pavement Materials, Design, Construction & Maintenance and is offered as a low-cost alternative to the three-day course IDM-03.

TS-03 Roadside Safety and Guardrail Systems, Dec 5

Tue, 2017-12-05 22:43
This one-day course offers students an opportunity to learn how to design more "forgiving" roadways-those that minimize hazardous installations and reduce potential for death, injury, and property damage associated with crashes. Instruction focuses on best practices in the design and evaluation of common roadside structures such as guardrails, concrete barriers, signs, light pole supports, and work-zone devices. This course is based on the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide, Caltrans Standard Plans, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350: Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Roadside Features. Video presentations illustrate various safety devices and impact attenuators, to help students understand the dynamics of roadside crashes.

TS-04 Improving Safety at Intersections, thru Dec 1

Fri, 2017-12-01 23:39
About 65 percent of all crashes in urban areas and 40 percent of those in rural areas occur at or near intersections or driveways. Safety improvements at these locations have always been a priority and pose a challenge for most transportation agencies in California. Because crashes are typically complex events, a great diversity of mitigation measures have been tried with varying degrees of success, including the modern round-about. This workshop offers a range of guidelines, solutions, and strategies for reducing conflicts and crashes at intersection locations. Safety improvements appropriate for both urban and rural areas are explored.

Transportation Futures: Integrating transportation, land use, and environmental planning for sustainable urban development, Dec 1

Fri, 2017-12-01 23:39
Concerns about global warming, economic disparity, social exclusion, and threatened shortages of water and energy have emerged on policy agendas throughout the world, and the need for aggressive intervention along all fronts has become increasingly apparent. In this presentation, Elizabeth Deakin will discuss policies and practices linking transportation, land use, and environmental planning with the objective of achieving sustainable development - a healthy environment, a thriving economy, and a more equitable and inclusive society. She will examine how regional and local planning practices are changing to reflect new demographic and economic trends and environmental and social challenges, and review and assess best practices and emerging scenarios on how to improve the performance of cities’ and regions’ transport systems, ranging from investments in transit and nonmotorized travel modes, to mixed use and higher density urban development, to radically transformed vehicles and transportation systems enabled by emerging technological innovations.

Elizabeth Deakin is Professor Emerita of City and Regional Planning and Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley, where she taught and carried out research on transportation, land use and environmental planning for three decades. She served as the Director of the UC Transportation Center from 1999-2009 and as Co-Director of the Global Metropolitan Studies Center from 2004-2009. She has written nearly 300 journal articles, book chapters, papers and research reports during her academic career. She is co-author of the handbook, Residential Street Design and Traffic Control (with Wolf Homburger, Peter Bosselman, Daniel Smith and Bert Beukers), published in English and Italian, and co-editor of the 2017 edited volume, High Speed Rail and Sustainability (with Blas Perez Henriquez). She has advised numerous city, state, and national governments on transportation, urban development, and environmental issues and has served as an appointed official for state and local government. Deakin holds SB and SM degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a JD from Boston College Law School. In 2010 she was awarded an Honorary PhD from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH) for her contributions to research in the fields of transportation and the environment. She also was awarded an honorary professorship at Shandong University in the PRC in recognition of her contributions to sustainable development planning for Chinese cities. Currently, she is conducting research, advising students, and editing Access magazine at UC.

TS-04 Improving Safety at Intersections, thru Dec 1

Thu, 2017-11-30 23:37
About 65 percent of all crashes in urban areas and 40 percent of those in rural areas occur at or near intersections or driveways. Safety improvements at these locations have always been a priority and pose a challenge for most transportation agencies in California. Because crashes are typically complex events, a great diversity of mitigation measures have been tried with varying degrees of success, including the modern round-about. This workshop offers a range of guidelines, solutions, and strategies for reducing conflicts and crashes at intersection locations. Safety improvements appropriate for both urban and rural areas are explored.

GraphXD Seminar, Nov 30

Thu, 2017-11-30 23:37
Learning models from data has a significant impact on many disciplines, including computer vision, medical imaging, social networks, neuroscience and signal processing. In the network inference problem, one may model the relationships between the network components through an underlying inverse covariance matrix. Learning this graphical model is often challenged by the fact that only a small number of samples are available. Despite the popularity of graphical lasso for solving this problem, there is not much known about the properties of this statistical method as an optimization algorithm. In this talk, we will develop new notions of sign-consistent matrices and inverse-consistent matrices to obtain key properties of graphical lasso. In particular, we will prove that although the complexity of solving graphical lasso is high, the sparsity pattern of its solution has a simple formula if a sparse graphical model is sought. Besides graphical lasso, there are several techniques for learning graphical models. We will design an optimization-based mathematical framework to study the performance of various techniques. We will illustrate our results in different case studies.

TS-04 Improving Safety at Intersections, Nov 29-Dec 1

Wed, 2017-11-29 22:39
About 65 percent of all crashes in urban areas and 40 percent of those in rural areas occur at or near intersections or driveways. Safety improvements at these locations have always been a priority and pose a challenge for most transportation agencies in California. Because crashes are typically complex events, a great diversity of mitigation measures have been tried with varying degrees of success, including the modern round-about. This workshop offers a range of guidelines, solutions, and strategies for reducing conflicts and crashes at intersection locations. Safety improvements appropriate for both urban and rural areas are explored.

How Ride-Sharing Technology is Impacting Transportation in Africa: The case of Uber in Nairobi, Nov 17

Fri, 2017-11-17 23:34
As ride-sharing technology companies enter the African Continent to tap into its market of one billion people, African cities are adopting and responding to the technology in different ways. Looking at Kenya, a country that prides itself as the tech hub of Africa, there has been wide-spread adoption of Uber — but not without significant opposition from certain transportation stakeholders. What are the factors that have influenced this adoption of ride-sharing technology as a mode of transportation in Nairobi, and how has government responded to opposition to the disrupter in the transport industry? In addition, are there factors that are influencing Uber’s impact on the workforce in Kenya as compared to the US?

Kagure Wamunyu is a Sustainable Urban Development PhD student at Oxford University doing her research on the impact of ride-sharing technology on transportation in Africa. Kagure has worked in the ride-sharing industry where she joined Uber in 2015 as the operations and logistics manager for Nairobi and rose to Country Manager for Uber in Kenya, a position she held before leaving the company in July 2017.

Kagure also currently works as the Senior Director for Strategy for East Africa for Bridge International Schools, a social impact organization that seeks to provide access to education to the low income in Africa and Asia. She also previously worked as a research assistant at the Institute of transportation Research and Education and North Carolina State University.

Kagure is a Berkeley MCP alumna (class of 2015) and holds a BSC in Civil Engineering from NC State and a BA in Mathematics from Meredith College.

Precarity and Dependence in the "Sharing" Economy, Nov 16

Thu, 2017-11-16 23:40
The sharing economy debuted to grand claims about its ability to change the world for the good--it would encourage social connection, use assets more efficiently, and be better for the environment. For earners on platforms, it promised flexibility, freedom and the ability to become a "micro-entrepreneur." Ten years in, the reality is far more complex. In this talk, Schor discusses her interview-based research with workers on six platforms, and argues that contrary to the expectations of both boosters and critics, outcomes are highly diverse, and depend to a large extent on workers' non-platform economic situations. The discussion will be moderated by Annette Bernhardt from the UC Berkeley Labor Center and Professor Ruth Collier from the UC Berkeley Political Science Department, and will be followed by a reception.

Please register to secure your spot.

Juliet Schor is a sociologist at Boston College. Her work focuses on consumer society, sustainable consumption, new economies, and overwork. A former Guggenheim Fellow, she has served as a consultant to the United Nations.

Ruth Berins Collier teaches political science at UC Berkeley. Her research, across Latin America, Africa, and Europe, has focused on popular participation, political regime change, and labor politics.

Annette Bernhardt directs the Low-Wage Work Program at IRLE’s Labor Center. She focuses on domestic outsourcing, the gig economy, and the impact of new technologies on low-wage work.

Mobility Innovators Forum 2017, Nov 14

Tue, 2017-11-14 22:38
Leaders in the mobility industry will convene to discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Panels and talks will cover new forms of mobility, new mobility business models and the infrastructure supporting the mobility ecosystem.

Individuals with a UC Berkeley affiliation can RSVP for free using the promo code GoBears.

Transportation Mixer, Nov 8

Wed, 2017-11-08 22:42
On Nov. 8 at 5 pm, there will be a Transportation Mixer in the 4th floor ITS Library for transportation faculty & staff, students, and professionals. Please come socialize with our undergraduate, masters, and PhD students, past graduates, and other ITS faculty and staff. Cal ITE, a transportation student group, will be funding the event and there will be food and beverages provided!