News | The Seventh Annual PSR Congress Highlights Research Topics from Autonomous Vehicles to Transportation Equity

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by METRANS Staff

PSR students attend Congress sessions at UNLV.   



From left to right: Students attend PSR Congress session at UNLV. UCLA student Alejandra Rios Gutierrez pictured with PSR Director, Marlon Boarnet. UC Irvine student Urian Campos pictured with PSR Director, Marlon Boarnet. UNLV student Yazmin Martinez pictured with parent and PSR Director Marlon Boarnet. 


The 2024 Pacific Southwest Region (PSR) Annual Congress was hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) on March 11th and 12th.  Every year, a member institution of the PSR Consortium hosts the PSR Congress. The Annual Congress provides an opportunity for researchers, students, and transportation industry stakeholders from PSR member universities and from other universities, firms, and agencies in the US Department of Transportation Region 9 to share findings and build collaborations. Over 100 students, faculty members, researchers, and industry associates joined the two-day event which featured 50 presentations on transportation research themes ranging from mobility in tribal nations to autonomous vehicles, and from dashboards for transportation equity to machine learning for traffic signal control systems. Students and faculty members from twelve universities and from all over California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, and guest from well beyond Region 9 (Virginia) were able to connect, network, and engage with the topical research being produced across the PSR institutions.


Dr. Shashi Nambisan, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNLV, and Director of the UNLV Transportation Research Center, kicked off the program with a warm welcome and an overview of the program’s sessions. PSR Director, Dr. Marlon Boarnet, thanked Congress participants, UNLV and USC METRANS staff, and government and industry associates for making the event possible.


Research themes for the Congress included: Attitudes; Optimization, Control, and Simulation; Tools and Visualization; Engine, Emissions, and Electric Vehicles; Transit Modes; Technologies; Universal Travel Benefits; Emergency Resilience; Rail; Gender; and Tribal Mobility. The PSR Student of the Year winners were all in attendance and were honored during the PSR Student of the Year Ceremony on Tuesday morning. These student winners were selected by the PSR Executive Committee and were chosen based on academic merit, research accomplishments, and leadership skills. Yazmin Martinez, UNLV Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science and PSR Ph.D. Student of the Year, presented her paper titled, Information Visualization for Exploring Road Traffic Congestion. Alejandra Rios-Gutierrez, UCLA Master’s student in Urban and Regional Planning and PSR Master’s Student of the Year, presented her paper titled Transportation Challenges Facing Low-Income Households with Children: A Case Study in South Los Angeles. Uriah Campos, UC-Irvine Undergraduate Student in Urban Studies and PSR Undergraduate Student of the Year, presented his paper titled Equity Analysis of Shared E-Scooter System.


To view the complete 2024 PSR Congress program, click here.


The PSR Congress was previously hosted by the University of Southern California in 2023. The 2025 PSR Annual Congress will be hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, in March 2025.