The METRANS Transportation Center was established in 1998 through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) as the first University Transportation Center in Southern California. METRANS is a joint partnership of the University of Southern California (USC) and California State University Long Beach (CSULB).
METRANS is located in Southern California, which is home to nearly 2/3 of the state's population and the most congested metropolitan area in the US. The region is a center for international trade: the Los Angeles/ Long Beach port complex is the largest container port in the US (trade in 2011 was $382 billion); and LAX is the 7th largest air freight center in the US. As a center of both international trade and immigration, the Los Angeles region is home to both extreme wealth and extreme poverty, and has one of the largest transit-dependent populations in the country. METRANS is committed to addressing the transportation challenges of regions such as Los Angeles.
METRANS' mission is to solve transportation problems of large metropolitan regions through interdisciplinary research, education and outreach.
METRANS has three primary objectives:
- Foster independent, high quality research to solve the nation's transportation problems
- Train the next generation transportation workforce
- Disseminate information, best practices, and technology to the professional community
We accomplish these objectives through a comprehensive and collaborative program of research, education, information dissemination and technology transfer organized around four topical focus areas:
- Integrated management of freight and passenger systems
- Sustainable and efficient urban freight transportation
- Mobility of urban populations
The partnership of USC and CSULB brings together two large urban universities -- a combined student body of about 65,000 -- with complementary strengths. USC is among the nation's leading research universities, and CSULB is one of the largest teaching universities in California. METRANS research includes many disciplines: faculty come from several fields of engineering, as well as planning, public policy, public administration, economics, and geography.
The two universities together offer a full spectrum of education and training, from PhD to undergraduate and including professional training and certificate programs. Dissemination and technology transfer are accomplished via conferences, workshops, publications, and website.