Research Overview

Stop the Video

Research Overview


We address the transportation issues of Region 9 through an integrated, multidisciplinary program of research, education, and technology transfer aimed at improving the mobility of people and goods throughout the region, the FAST Act Research Priority Area 1. PSR UTC supports research that addresses the unique combination of problems in the region.

PSR Research

We conduct a multi-modal, multi-disciplinary program of research around four themes.

Gaps in Transportation Access: Transportation access is a lifeline - to jobs, the economy, and society. Households in the region without access to a car have job access prospects that are an order of magnitude worse than households with a car. Region 9 is home to some of the most ambitious multi-modal transportation projects in the nation, yet those projects cannot reach all the residents who are in need.

Supply Chain Disruption and Economic and Environmental Risks: The San Pedro Bay ports (of Los Angeles and Long Beach) process 40% of the nation’s container imports. The pandemic illustrated the level of connectivity and interdependence of the US economy and demonstrated the weaknesses of just-in-time practices and far-flung supply chains, while magnifying existing inefficiencies. Capacity problems reverberated along supply chains, causing shortages in consumer products and manufacturing inputs. While the San Pedro Bay ports have been leaders in greening port, shipping, and landside goods movement, much more remains to be done.

Climate Vulnerabilities and Environmental Justice: The myriad transportation systems of Region 9 are at increasing risk from an array of natural hazards including sea level rise, earthquakes, droughts, wildfires, and volcanoes. Many of those risks will increase with global climate change, and many parts of the region’s transport infrastructure and large segments of the population are increasingly vulnerable. Transportation’s contribution to climate change is arguably the most pressing concern: highway transportation currently accounts for 60% of petroleum consumption in the US and 22% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Uneven Technology Innovation and System Transformation: As the undisputed global leader in information and communications technologies (ICT), Region 9 is a hotbed of transportation innovation. Uber and Lyft were born in our region, and innovations in micro-transit, car- and scooter-sharing have often occurred here first, as well. However, this transformation has been uneven.  Many rural parts of the region do not have the density or income levels to support emerging web-based transportation services, and the most remote areas have limited access to high-speed telecommunications lines.

A Changing Transportation Workforce: In Region 9, about 4% of all jobs are in the transportation and warehousing sectors (NAICS 48-49). Automation and shifts to cleaner energy sources, along with the continued emergence of new modes of transportation, will change the nature of jobs in this sector and throughout transportation. This rapidly changing labor landscape requires new methods for reskilling and upskilling, and new education models.

Graduate Research Program

The research program includes a graduate research fellowship program at some partner universities. The first round of fellowships were awarded in Fall 2017.

Research Selection Process

We conduct open solicitations to select projects, issuing RFPs to solicit proposals, followed by an external peer review, with final selections based on peer review. Reviewers include academics outside of the PSR universities, public and private practitioners, and representatives of match funding sources.

PSR Region 9 RFPs


The first Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP was issued on September 28, 2023. Proposals were due on November 10, 2023.

The second Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP was issued on February 6, 2024. Proposals are due on March 27, 2024.

FAST Act Grant

PSR issues RFPs approximately annually.

The first Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP was issued on April 24, 2017. Proposals were due on May 24, 2017.

The second Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP was issued on March 12, 2018. Proposals were due on April 13, 2018.

The third Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP 2a was issued on October 15, 2018. Proposals were due on January 7, 2019.

The fourth Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP was on February 15, 2019. Proposals were due on March 15, 2019.

The 2020-2021 Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP 4 was issued on January 31, 2020. Proposals were due on February 28, 2020.

The 2021-2022 Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP 5 was issued on February 1, 2021. Proposals are due on March 2, 2021. 

The 2022-2023 Pacific Southwest Region UTC RFP 6 was issued on January 31, 2022. Proposals are due on March 1, 2022. 

View the PSR Data Management Plan Here

View the PSR Data Management Plan Instructions Here

View the PSR Proposal Template here

For information on the RFP process, please contact:

Jennifer Hong
Associate Director of Administration
METRANS Transportation Consortium
University of Southern California
3518 Trousdale Pkwy
Joseph Medicine Crow Center for International and Public Affairs (DMC), 367
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213) 821-9781
[email protected]