Funded Projects

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Funded Projects


A list of METRANS funded projects. Click the links to see more!

UC Davis and UCLA projects received funding from the Pacific Southwest Region UTC.


NYC Transit Oriented Development Project

Inspired by the photos of Professor Emeritus Martin Krieger, this project documents areas surrounding subway stations in New York. The story map project is a five-part series divided based on geographical areas of New York with a total of about 500 photos mapped, approximately 10 photos for each station. It explores the street infrastructure and the influence of culture from the communities around transit stations.


Sustainable Transportation Concepts: A Mini-Lecture Series

In 2019, the National Center for Sustainable Transportationat UC Davis hosted its new video lecture series called, “Sustainable Transportation Concepts: A Mini-Lecture Series,” which supplements college-level courses with sustainable transportation-related material.


UC Davis


Understanding Urban Mobility Data via Physics-Informed Statistical Machine Learning

Principle Investigator: Ran Sun; Advisor: Yueyue Fan
Start and end dates: 10/01/22 to 09/30/23
Total project cost: $30,000
Contract number: USDOT 69A3551747109

Modern transportation systems have benefited from rich spatial and temporal data, including vehicle and pedestrian flow, behavior travel demand and network performance measures. Accurate and efficient sensing and data analytic techniques would enable a deeper understanding of the underlying phenomenon of human mobility and interactions with infrastructures, allowing better planning and operations decisions. In this dissertation, the researcher proposes a physics-informed statistical machine learning framework to better understand the observed data and find the dominant features that drive the daily mobility patterns. First, they develop a stochastic programming framework for transit origin-destination (OD) estimation. The proposed approach enables estimation of population distribution parameters and the reconstruction of inferred OD flow based on observed passenger counts in transit networks. Second, they propose an application driven dimensionality reduction framework to identify the dominant patterns in mobility data. A novel perspective that they bring into the data analytics literature is that the representation of the data should be dependent on how the data is used in downstream applications. Therefore, the researcher incorporates the information loss in downstream application into the data reconstruction process. The effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated through two applications: vehicular emission estimation and anomaly detection of travel demand.


Changing Mobility in the United States – the Effect of New Mobility and COVID Pandemic

Student researcher: Jai Malik; Advisor: Giovanni Circella
Start and end dates: 04/01/21 to 03/31/22
Total project cost: $30,000
Contract number: USDOT 69A3551747109

This dissertation will create a deeper understanding of ridehailing services (e.g.Uber) and the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility trends in the U.S. First, the researcher will create a deeper understanding of how the factors influencing the use of shared ridehailing (UberPool/Lyft Shared) differ from those affecting the use of solo-ridehailing (UberX). Second, the investigator will critique the existing literature on the effects of the built environment on use of ridehailing. This dissertation will develop a model and build new accessibility measures to remedy some of the methodological issues identified in the recent studies on the subject. Finally, using detailed travel surveys from 15 metropolitan areas in the U.S., this work will identify the population segments (1) who lost their jobs during the pandemic, (2) who physically reported to work (vs. telecommuting), and (3) who had the liberty of reporting less frequently to work than others. The modeling technique helps isolate the effect of the COVID-19 control measures by the governments in each of the 15 metropolitan areas on these three variables.


Decision Support System to Evaluate Strategies for No-Notice Wildfire Events

Student researcher: Sarah Grajdura; Advisor: Debbie Niemeier
Start and end dates: 10/01/20 to 09/30/21
Total project cost: $30,000
Contract number: USDOT 69A3551747109

Fast-moving wildfires are increasingly common as a result of climate change. In the wildland urban interface (WUI) these no-notice fires pose a serious threat to the safety of residents. By the time that residents learn of the wildfire, the evacuation notification time and departure time may all be within a matter of minutes. Little is understood about behavior in no-notice events, and much of the existing literature is focused on stated-preference surveys which do not capture peoples’ true actions during such disasters. It is important to use information from prior no-notice disasters into the planning for those that will come in the future. This research combines empirical data from a no-notice disaster with simulation modeling to create a decision support system to evaluate various evacuation strategies for no-notice wildfires. Additionally, this research investigates the equity issues associated with no-notice wildfire, both during the evacuation and post-evacuation process. This research uses a unique dataset gathered in Red Cross shelters shortly after evacuation for the 2018 CampFire in Northern California, along with a follow-up survey conducted six months later.


Application of mobile measured high-resolution air pollution data in urban planning, health exposure, and economic impact study

Student Researcher: Minmeng Tang; Advisor: Debbie Niemeier
Start and end dates: 06/1/19 to 05/31/20
Total project cost: $30,000
Contract number: USDOT 69A3551747109

Air pollution is a major global risk causing a large number of illnesses and deaths every year. Many literatures have shown the robust causal relations between health and outdoor exposure to various air pollutants. The complex urban environment causes the uneven distribution of air pollution concentrations, which can change sharply within a short distance. Therefore, understanding the within city air pollution gradients is crucial for various studies including exposure assessment, urban planning, air pollution monitoring, and environmental equity. Mobile-based air pollution monitoring has been proposed to tackle this challenge since it can typically achieve higher spatial resolution measurement of air pollution concentrations than other methods. However, the inherently different nature of measurement from mobile monitors makes it difficult to apply methods designed for stationary sensors. This dissertation focuses on developing methods that are suitable for mobile sensor data to take advantage of the high spatial resolution nature for exposure assessment, air pollution monitoring, and socioeconomic impact studies.



Piloting Transit Priority Improvements in the City of Los Angeles

Yu Hong Hwang, 2020-21


California Government Screening Maps for Climate, Equity, and Planning

Shelly Quan, 2020-21


Evaluation and Recommendation for All Door Boarding at LA Metro

Alexander Murray, 2020-21


Washington State Ferries Terminal Wait Times and Traveler Information

Alexandra Weber, 2020-21


Aligning LA Metro Bus Service to Major Travel Patterns and other COVID-19 related Effects

Edgar Mejia, 2020-21


Local Option Sales Taxes and Transit Funding in California (joint project with Natalie Amberg)

Eric Dasmalchi, 2020-21


Slow Your Roll! An Analysis of LADOT’s Slow Streets Program

Jan Yonan, 2020-21


Slow Streets in San Francisco

Lena Rogow, 2020-21


Daylighting Public Funding Streams to Increase Equitable Access to Public Transit Across California

Natalie Amberg, 2020-21


Community based approach to Mobility Justice in Los Angeles

Zully Juarez, 2019-20


Characterizing Travel Needs for Disadvantaged Populations

Annaleigh Yahata Ekman, 2019-20


Updating the Employee Commute Reduction Program

Anthony Franzonia, 2019-20


Stay Out of My Lane! Improving the Operator Experience Through Effective Enforcement Strategies on Bus Lanes"

Cassie Halls, 2019-20


Culver City General Plan Update

Guadalupe Huerta, 2019-20


Changing Plans: Flexibility, Accountability, and Oversight of Local Option Sales Tax Measure Implementation in California

Jeremy Marks, 2019-20


The Pedestrian Battle of Los Angeles: How to co-power underserved communities in the City of Los Angeles towards the planning and implementation of pedestrian road safety infrastructure

Jorge Canez, 2019-20


Demystifying the City of Los Angeles Transportation Budgeting Process Katherine Stiegemeyer
Off the Rails: Discriminatory Policing on LACMTA Systems and Proposed Alternatives

Ma'ayan Dembo, 2019-20


Cooling Interventions and Decision Making at the Streetscape

Madeleine Sims, 2019-20


Perceptions of New Mobility Among People with disabilities in San Francisco Madeline Ruvolo
Need for Speed

Mark Hansen, 2019-20


Socioeconomic Disparities and Pedestrian Collision in Orange County, California

Peter Garcia, 2019-20


Analyzing Contracted School Paratransit Service: How HopSkipDrive Contracted Trips Compare to Other Modes and Behaviors in School Travel

Samuel Speroni, 2019-20


Parking to Place: Barriers and Opportunities for Adaptability in New Parking Structure Construction in Los Angeles

Anthony Fonseca, 2018-19


Congestion Pricing for Climate, Capacity, or Communities?

Austin Stanion, 2018-19


Mode Choice and Perceptions of the Built Environment in Watts and Jordan Downs

Dustin Khuu, 2018-19


The Role of Transportation in School Access: A Case Study of the Geffen Academy

Esteban Doyle, 2018-19


Where to Go While on the Go: An Analysis of Restrooms on Select Metro Stations

Fabian Campos, 2018-19


A Scoot, Skip, and a JUMP Away: Learning from Shared Micromobility Systems in San Francisco

Forest Barnes, 2018-19


Charging Infrastructure Strategies: Maximizing the Deployment and Use of Electric Drayage Trucks in Southern California

Gabrielle "Libby" Bradley, 2018-19


A Time and a Place for Every Rider?: Geographic and Temporal Changes in Bay Area Transit Ridership

Jacob Wasserman, 2018-19


Wheels for All: Ensuring Equitable Access to Dockless Mobility in Los Angeles

Karina Schneider, 2018-19


Parking? Lots! Parking Over the Minimum in Los Angeles

Katelyn Stangl, 2018-19


Completing Our Streets: Lessons for Los Angeles from peer agencies creating safer, multimodal streets

Malia Schilling, 2018-19


Land Use in a World of New Transportation Technologies

Monique Ho, 2018-19


Class Act: An Assessment of Los Angeles Metro’s U-Pass Program

Ryan Yowell, 2018-19