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Spring 2021 Newsletter
Student Spotlight: Jai Malik
Jai Malik

Meet UC Davis PhD student Jai Malik! Born and raised in Delhi, Jai completed his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering at Delhi Technological University. Jai moved to Davis in 2017 to pursue graduate studies in transportation. His research has concentrated on changing mobility in the U.S. and other countries in response to emerging transportation technologies. In
the last year, he has also focused on the change in the transportation sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NCST Student Awarded
Thomas J. Votta Scholarship
Elizabeth Duffy
Congratulations to University of Vermont graduate student Elizabeth Duffy on earning the Thomas J. Votta Scholarship! Elizabeth's work at the Transportation Research Center at UVM focuses on greenhouse gas emissions from long-distance travel, and she hopes to become a professional engineer focusing on sustainability and addressing climate change.
Upcoming Events
International Conference on Ecology & Transportation banner
International Conference on Ecology and Transportation 2021
September 21-30, 2021 — Virtual

The International Conference on Ecology and Transportation is the foremost interdisciplinary, inter-agency supported conference addressing the broad range of ecological issues related to transportation systems in all modes. The conference is organized by the UC Davis Road Ecology Center, with collaboration from the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at UC Davis. This conference, ICOET will also host the first-ever "Global Congress on Linear Infrastructure and the Environment," which will bring together decision-makers, scientists and technical experts from around the global to discuss the pressing issues associated with developing more sustainable linear infrastructure systems. 
Webinars On-Demand
Dr. Caroline Rodier | Researcher, University of California, Davis
Creighton Randall (Guest Respondent) | Mobility Development Partners
Abigail Solis (Guest Respondent) | Self-Help Enterprises
Image of an electric vehicle belonging to the car-sharing service, Miocar.
This webinar highlighted early research evaluating the success of Míocar (a non-profit, electric car-sharing service meant to offer a cost-effective mobility option for residents of rural disadvantaged communities) in achieving its goals and featured perspectives from key partners involved in the pilot.
Dr. Meisam Razaviyayn | Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
Ali Ghafelebashi | PhD Student, University of Southern California
Diagram of the route efficiency improvement process.
This webinar discussed research on developing real-time algorithms to reduce traffic congestion and improve routing efficiency via offering personalized incentives to drivers. The research team proposed to exploit the wide accessibility of smart communication devices and develop a real-time look-ahead incentive-offering mechanism using individuals' routing and aggregate traffic information.
Dr. Debapriya Chakraborty | Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Davis
Dr. Scott Hardman | Professional Research Scientist, University of California, Davis
Diagram outlining the determinants of total cost of ownership.
This webinar highlighted two new studies on California’s electric vehicle market with implications for the state’s push to reach 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035. The first study presents an innovative approach for calculating electric vehicles’ total cost of ownership for various household types in California. The second study investigates discontinuance of electric vehicles, explores how prevalent this issue is, why buyers abandon electric vehicles, and what might lure them back to the market.
UC Davis Transportation &
Climate Blog
Infographic of cars on busy highway
Infographic of cars on busy highway with more lanes
We Can, and Should, Account for the Consequences of Expanding Highways
Decades of research have shown the existence of the induced travel effect. This phenomenon can be explained by the basic economic principles of supply and demand. Expanding highway capacity increases average travel speed (at least initially), which reduces the time “cost” of driving. When the cost of driving decreases, the volume of (or “demand” for) driving increases, as is true for most economic goods. Yet transportation agencies continue to propose highway expansion projects with a goal of "congestion relief."
In a new blog post, NCST researcher Jamey Volker discusses the Induced Travel Calculator, a simple tool he and UC Davis colleagues developed to estimate the induced travel effect and understand the true impacts of widening highways on vehicle miles traveled and pollution. The research team applied the calculator to five highway expansion projects approved in California over the last 12 years and found that environmental reviews fail to accurately analyze induced travel from highway expansion projects.
NCST in the News
Discontinuance Among California’s Electric Vehicle Buyers: Why are some consumers abandoning their electric vehicles?
Recently published NCST research by Scott Hardman and Gil Tal has been featured in a variety of media outlets,  such as ViceBusiness Insider, and Fox Business. The research 
Graph illustrating original PEV ownership trends
focuses on discontinuance among California’s electric vehicle buyers and makes recommendations on how to prevent discontinuance. The researchers also  suggest ways to get those that have abandoned plug-in electric vehicles to readopt them in the future.
How to Shop Online More Sustainably
Image of two computer screens exchanging goods and funds
Every package delivered to your door comes with associated emissions.  However, as NCST researcher Miguel Jaller explains in a New York Times article, "E-commerce is not the evil. The evil comes from the abuse of e-commerce, because it’s so convenient that we are abusing this opportunity to have a really nice and eco-friendly option that consolidates cargo." Read more about what you (and retailers themselves!) can do to make shopping online more sustainable.
What barrier(s) is/are limiting battery-electric heavy-duty trucks' ability to be a practical substitute for diesel drayage trucks in the near term?
a. limited range
b. long charging times
c. high capital costs
d. all of the above
When will cost parity between plug-in electric vehicles and conventional vehicles likely be reached?
a. in the next 5 years
b. over a decade from now
c. by 2050
d. Never; conventional vehicles will always be more affordable
New Publications
Congestion Reduction via Personalized Incentives
Ali Ghafelebashi, Meisam Razaviyayn, and Maged Dessouky | University of Southern California
A grph showing the number of incoming drivers over time
This project studied a different approach of offering positive incentives to drivers to take alternative routes. More specifically, an algorithm is proposed to reduce traffic congestion and improve routing efficiency by offering personalized incentives to drivers. The incentives are offered after solving large-scale optimization problems in order to minimize the expected congestion (or minimize the expected carbon emissions). 
Setting Transportation Network Company (TNC) Policies to Increase Sustainability
Sam Fuller, Tatjana Kunz, Austin Brown, and Mollie D’Agostino | University of California, Davis
A graphic of a car full of passangers.
Cities and states across the U.S. are assessing fees or taxes on transportation network company (TNC) platforms, such as Uber and Lyft. The goals of these policies include traffic and emissions mitigation, as well as revenue generation, among other objectives. This research aims to assess the goals and effectiveness of these fees in achieving some of these policy objectives, primarily congestion and emissions mitigation.
Discontinuance Among California’s Electric Vehicle Buyers: Why are some consumers abandoning their electric vehicles?
Scott Hardman and Gil Tal | University of California, Davis
A bar graph comparing the percentages of EV ownership discontinuance among BEV and PHEV owners.
For the market introduction of electric vehicles to be successful, first-time adopters need to make continual purchases of the vehicles. Discontinuance, the act of abandoning a new technology after once being an adopter, has implications for market growth and could prevent electric vehicles from ever reaching 100% market share. Using results from five surveys of electric vehicle owners, the researchers examine discontinuance among battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle adopters.
New Policy Briefs
Urban Design that Reduces Vehicle Miles Traveled Can Create Economic Benefits
Marlon G. Boarnet, Evgeny Burinskiy, Lauren Deaderick, Danielle Guillen, and Nicholas Ryu | University of Southern California
A Method of Identifying Critical Road Infrastructure for Maintaining Food Accessibility
David C. Novak, James L. Sullivan, and Meredith T. Niles | University of Vermont
The Sustainability of Alternative Last-Mile Delivery Strategies
Miguel Jaller and Anmol Pahwa | University of California, Davis
Can Complete Streets Deliver on Sustainability?
John Harvey, Alissa Kendall, Ali A. Butt, Arash Saboori, Maryam Ostovar, and Bruce Haynes | University of California, Davis
Jesus Hernandez | JCH Research
Scott Hardman and Gil Tal | University of California, Davis
Developing Markets for Clean Heavy-Duty Trucks in Short-Haul Applications
Genevieve Giuliano, Maged Dessouky, Sue Dexter, Jiawen Fang, and Shichun Hu | University of Southern California
Seiji Steimetz and Thomas O’Brien | California State University, Long Beach
Marshall Miller and Lewis Fulton | University of California, Davis
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The National Center for Sustainable Transportation is a consortium of leading universities committed to advancing an environmentally sustainable transportation system through cutting-edge research, direct policy engagement, and education of our future leaders. Consortium members: University of California, Davis; University of California, Riverside; University of Southern California; California State University, Long Beach; Georgia Institute of Technology; and the University of Vermont.
 Lauren Iacobucci
Senior Program Manager
Mike Sintetos
Policy Director
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NCST Consortium
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