Winter 2019 Newsletter
Greetings from the Director

As my colleague Dan Sperling likes to say, the transportation field has never been as exciting as it is right now. The upheaval caused by car-sharing companies, bike-sharing programs, and ride-hailing services over the last decade has spawned yet other services (e.g., scooters) that are rapidly expanding the range of options available for daily travel, particularly in urban areas. The uncertainties are unprecedented: How will travelers respond over the long-term? How will providers—public and private alike—adapt as the use of these services evolve? What are the implications for our communities—economic, social, and environmental?

The rapid pace of innovation and the uncertainties that accompany it present both opportunities and challenges for researchers. Research is more important than ever as a basis for new policies and practices that will steer the transportation system toward a sustainable future, yet conducting research is more challenging than ever as the system to be studied has become something of a moving target. At the same time, researchers face the challenge of making further progress on old problems that remain after the easiest solutions have been tried. At the NCST, we are taking on these challenges front and center.

In 2018, the NCST supported a wide array of projects across our themes of zero-emission vehicles and fuels, multi-modal travel and sustainable land use, and environmentally responsible infrastructure that address current problems and anticipate future ones. Recent white papers provide direction on topics such as the possibility of redeveloping failing malls as transit-oriented developments, ways to more effectively incorporate long-distance travel into transportation planning, the potential for onboard feedback to promote eco-driving, and strategies for ensuring that the transition to electric vehicles yields a sustainable outcome. We shared our results through presentations, webinars, and social media, and many of our researchers worked directly with policymakers, agency officials, and private industry to shape policies and practices.

We look forward to another exciting year in 2019!

Susan Handy

The NCST hosted delegates from the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories in October to discuss recent research findings and questions important at a global scale.
NCST graduate and postdoctoral students attend the UC Davis events at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September. Left to right: Seshadri Raghavan, Xiuli Zhang, and Sada Wachche.
NCST Researcher Dr. Alan Jenn presenting on the use of electric vehicles in new mobility services at the ITS-Davis 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Research Workshop in October.
NCST Faculty & Student Awards
Cambridge Systematics New Faculty Award 2018
The Council of University Transportation Centers Cambridge Systematics New Faculty Award is given annually to a tenure-track faculty member in transportation education. The award recognizes outstanding teaching and research contributions to the transportation field. Professor Miguel Jaller was selected as this year's award winner for his prolific and high-quality research contributions, expert input to California's freight action plan, and dedication to teaching. Congratulations, Miguel!
NCST 2018 Outstanding Student of the Year
Every year the US Department of Transportation honors outstanding students from each of the University Transportation Centers for their achievements and promise for contributions to the transportation field. Congratulations to the NCST Outstanding Student of 2018, Farzad Alemi!
Farzad completed his PhD in Transportation Technology and Policy here at UC Davis and was hired as a postdoctoral researcher at ITS-Davis. He is currently working on several projects related to understanding the impacts of new shared mobility services and vehicle automation on travel demand and vehicle ownership.  Read more

Upcoming Events

Transportation Research Board Legislative Briefings
January 16-17, 2019
Location: Washington, D.C.

The 3 Revolutions in Transportation: Governance Needs & Opportunities
On Wednesday, January 16th, the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy and the 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program will host a briefing to explain why the advent of the "3 Revolutions" era requires reevaluation of roles for federal, state, and local authorities. It will also cover ways to enable innovation while respecting privacy, proprietary, and safety concerns. Experts will discuss research findings and perspectives on how to harness the 3 Revolutions for the benefit of all. Register Here

Research Highlights from the NCST: Better Governance Through a Strong Workforce and Effective Incentives

On Thursday, January 17th, the NCST will host a briefing to highlight recent research findings. Dr. Carol Vallett from the University of Vermont will discuss workforce retention at State Departments of Transportation, and Dr. Alan Jenn from UC Davis will discuss the effectiveness of incentives on the adoption of electric vehicles in the United States.

Register Here

ITS-Davis 3 Revolutions 2019 Policy Conference 
March 18-19, 2019
Location: UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane, Davis, 95616

The NCST is a proud sponsor of the third annual 3 Revolution Policy Conference, the only major conference that addresses policy solutions for vehicle automation, shared mobility, and electrification. This year the conference will bring together everyone with a stake in transportation—representatives of local, state, and national governments, automakers, shared mobility companies, academics, and community advocates—to build a network committed to real policy outcomes.  Register Here
New 2018-2019 Research Projects
The NCST has 33 new projects that have recently started or are expected to begin in early 2019. View a list of all new NCST projects at and access all of NCST’s completed and in-progress research here!
Publication Highlights
NCST released 37 Research Reports and 8 White Papers in 2018! Read highlights below and view all NCST publications here.
White Paper - Onboard Feedback to Promote Eco-Driving: Average Impact and Important Features
Angela Sanguinetti | University of California, Davis
This white paper presents a statistical meta-analysis of eco-driving feedback studies in order to determine a pooled estimate of impacts on fuel economy and explore how characteristics of feedback interventions influence impacts.  Read More
White Paper - Incorporating Long-Distance Travel into Transportation Planning in the United States
Lisa Aultman-Hall | The University of Vermont

This white paper reviews the history of long-distance travel in the U.S., gave an overview of the data available for study, and outlined what is known in terms of who travels, how much, and for what purpose in a portion of the national multimodal transportation system.   Read More
Gentrification Near Rail Transit Areas: A Micro-Data Analysis of Moves into Los Angeles Metro Rail Station Areas
Marlon Boarnet | University of Southern California

This report sheds light on concerns that rail transit expansion catalyzes or exacerbates gentrification. Summarizing evidence from prior studies and introducing a new data source, the authors examine the relationship between new rail transit station openings and neighborhood income composition. Read More
Renewable Natural Gas Research Center
Arun Raju | University of California, Riverside

This project established a research center dedicated to the development of technologies that will enable renewable natural gas production and use in California and elsewhere by leveraging on-going research and collaborations. 
Changing Workforce Development Needs for Regional Transportation Planning Agencies in California
Thomas O'Brien | California State University, Long Beach

This project aimed to identify how fundamental changes from legislative mandates to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions have impacted regional transit and planning agencies from a workforce standpoint.
Energy and Air Quality Impacts of Truck-Only Lanes: A Case Study of Interstate 75 Between Macon and McDonough, Georgia
Angshuman Guin | Georgia Institute of Technology

This study demonstrated a model framework that combines a microscopic traffic simulation with emissions and microscale dispersion models to quantify the potential impacts of truck-only lanes on fuel consumption, emissions, and near-road pollutant concentrations.  Read More
Policy Brief Highlights
NCST published 12 Policy Briefs this year! Topics ranged from climate resiliency planning to freight impacts to transportation equity. Read them all  here.
Travel Effects and Associated Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Automated Vehicles
Caroline Rodier | University of California, Davis

This policy brief offers a critical review of the available evidence on the travel and environmental effects of automated vehicles to understand the potential magnitude and likelihood of the estimated effects.
Policy Brief | Project Information
Do Rail Transit Stations Induce Displacement?
Marlon Boarnet | University of Southern California
This policy brief summarizes research which aims to see if the presence of rail transit increases the outflow of lower-income neighborhood residents in metroploitan areas, focusing on Los Angeles County. 
Policy Brief | Project Information
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
 Colin Murphy
Policy Director
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