Research Projects


Jacob Wasserman joins UCLA ITS

Thursday, January 2, 2020

by Adylbek Abdykalikov, USC, IPPAM 2020

UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies Research Project Manager Jacob Wasserman is a 2019 UCLA Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) graduate with concentrations in Transportation Policy and Planning and in Community Economic Development and Housing. Before coming to UCLA, he completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in both Political Science and History at Yale University.


Wasserman began his full-time position at UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies (UCLA ITS) in summer 2019, and he currently manages the UCLA ITS research program on public transit and shared mobility. UCLA ITS Director and Urban Planning and Public Policy Professor Brian Taylor was Wasserman's principal adviser in the MURP program. Wasserman started working under his direction beginning in 2018 on research examining the causes of recent declines in public transit patronage in California.  Professor Taylor ranks Wasserman among the very best students he has ever taught; said Taylor, "Jacob graduated first in his MURP degree class with a dazzlingly impressive transcript in both Community Economic Development & Housing and Transportation Policy & Planning, and we were lucky to recruit him to join us as a staff researcher at UCLA ITS.”



Wasserman has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments and transportation-related working experiences.  Before joining ITS, he worked for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation in capital planning; he served as a San Francisco Fellow for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency where he developed a public-facing capital improvement program and worked on internal budget process improvements; he was a Transportation Justice Fellow for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District Board of Directors where he coordinating passage of the system's Safe Transit sanctuary policy; and he managed goNewHavengo, an initiative for alternative transportation for the City of New Haven, Connecticut.


Wasserman garnered numerous competitive scholarships and awards during his studies.  Among these, he was a 2018 Eisenhower Transportation Fellow, won the 2019 UCLA Luskin School Dean's Awards for Overall Excellence as the top overall graduate in his Masters of Urban & Regional Planning class of 72, and the 2020 Neville A. Parker Award from the Council of University Transportation Centers for the best transportation policy and planning graduate capstone project in the U.S. for “A Time and a Place for Every Rider? Geographic and Temporal Changes in Bay Area Transit Ridership." 


Wasserman brings his expertise in transportation equity, finance, and demand management to the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and Professor Taylor predicts that "Mr. Wasserman will be a leader in the transportation field in just a few short years;" based on his accomplishments so far, we have to agree.  We wish Jacob Wasserman the best of luck in his future endeavors and expect even more great things as his career progresses!


About the Author:

Adylbek Abdykalikov is a graduate student in the International Public Policy and Management Program at USC Price. He has working experience in various positions at the Ministries of Transport and Communication and Investment and Development of Kazakhstan and was in charge of Transportation and Civil Aviation policy development and implementation, and serves as lead student event coordinator for METRANS and PSR.