UCLA ITS Staff

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So far UCLA ITS Staff has created 10 blog entries.

UCLA, USC host 7th annual ITE Student Leadership Summit

During Jan. 31–Feb. 2, the Institute of Transportation Engineers Western and Mountain Districts gathered its members across 13 states for the 7th Annual Student Leadership Summit hosted by UCLA and USC. ITE SLS History The ITE Student Leadership Summit originated in 2014 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The event’s original goal was to create summits entirely planned by students for students. Through the promotion of leadership and professional development, these events aim to guide future transportation professionals. Each event has approximately 100-200 attendees, most of whom are students, both undergraduate and graduate, and a few alumni and faculty. Since that first event, there have been 12 student leadership summits hosted by ITE student chapters around the U.S., Canada, and with the ITE Australian and New Zealand Chapter. In total, more than 1,000 students have participated in these events. UCLA ITE chapter (photo: Eric Shen) Joceline Suhaimi, president of UCLA’s ITE student chapter and lead organizer of this year’s summit, said she was eager to host an event at UCLA because of the transportation changes afoot in Los Angeles, including $120-billion taxpayer-approved investments into LA’s transportation system and the projects associated with the upcoming 2028 Olympics. “I’ve always [...]

By |2020-02-06T14:30:05-08:00February 6th, 2020|Categories: events|Tags: |

UCLA identifying strategies for carbon neutrality in transportation

UCLA part of team contracted by the California Environmental Protection Agency to study solutions for the state's largest source of global-warming emissions The transportation sector is the largest source of global-warming emissions in California and now a team of researchers from UCLA and other UC campuses will embark on a landmark study to achieve carbon neutrality in the next 25 years. California already experiences hotter temperatures and other climate change effects. The state has set itself an ambitious goal: achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. How to comprehensively reduce emissions from a wide range of vehicles — from passenger cars to freight-hauling trains — has always been a vexing question. To address this, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) has partnered with the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies on a landmark study. A team from UCLA, along with UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UC Irvine, will identify strategies to achieve carbon neutrality in the transportation sector by 2045. This will include analyzing which strategies most effectively and equitably motivate drivers and businesses to transition to zero-emission vehicles. The role of alternative fuels, as well as the impact of land use policy, will also be explored. Researchers at the UCLA [...]

By |2020-02-05T15:11:25-08:00February 5th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized, Sustainable & Resilient Transportation|Tags: |

TRB award highlights LA bus-only lane pilot

Out of the dozens of Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellows selected to present at the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) 99th Annual Meeting, a UCLA student took home top honors. Cassie Halls, a second-year MURP graduate student won the “Best Master’s Student Poster Presentation” for the 2020 Transportation Research Showcase. So so SO proud of @CassieEHalls, who just won best master’s student poster @NASEMTRB pic.twitter.com/pFw7KueMph — Maddy Ruvolo (@maddyruvolo) January 14, 2020     The poster showcased a case study conducted by Halls and fellow Bruin Emma Huang MPP '17 from LA Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation on the Flower Street Bus-Only Lane piloted in downtown Los Angeles. The study measured the impact of the tactical transit lane based on bus travel times, corridor-level throughput, and customer and operator experience. The analysis found up to 27 percent travel time savings between the pre- and post-pilot period along high-performing street segments, and 17 percent average travel time savings along the entire bus-only lane. Upwards of 16,000 bus riders a day benefitted from time savings on the bus lane during the mid-pilot period. A full case study will be published later this year.   In other news… UCLA professors, students and [...]

By |2020-02-06T14:18:00-08:00January 23rd, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

UCLA Luskin graduate wins award for best planning capstone project

Jacob Wasserman MURP ‘19, who currently works as a research project manager for UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, won the Neville A. Parker Award for his capstone project, “A Time and Place for Every Rider? Geographic and Temporal Changes in Bay Area Transit Ridership.” The award is given annually by the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) to two recipients for the best master’s project in either policy and planning, or science and technology. Since 2002, a UCLA student has won it nine times. The project explores how, where, and when ridership changed in the nine-county Metropolitan Transportation Commission region over the past decade. Wasserman found three major trends in Bay Area ridership: gains at certain agencies masked declines in others, the largest operators suffered from peaking problems, and jobs and concentrated employment help explain the variation in ridership across agencies. “The current trend of transit ridership is the biggest crisis for transportation nationwide,” Wasserman said. “Having worked in transportation in the Bay Area myself, I was personally motivated to analyze and get to the bottom of the Bay Area’s unique transit ridership trajectory. I’m thrilled that CUTC, a critical decision-maker in transportation research funding, has also recognized the urgency [...]

By |2020-02-06T13:41:35-08:00January 21st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

UCLA ITS faculty, students win prestigious transportation award for 3rd time

Co-winner Martin Wachs receives the honor from the Transportation Research Board for a second time — four decades apart by Lena Rogow Evelyn Blumenberg and colleagues who include Professor Emeritus Martin Wachs have won the 2019 Pyke Johnson Award from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for a recent paper about the mobility needs of aging adults, marking the third time someone from UCLA Luskin has won the prize since its inception. Wachs has been studying transportation and aging for decades and won the same award more than 40 years ago, in 1976. The award-winning paper, “Physical Accessibility and Employment Among Older Adults in California,” explores the relationship between car ownership, transit accessibility and older adults’ employment status. The paper found that adults age 60 and older are able to stay in the workforce longer when they have access to a car or to public transit — if they live in a dense urban area. Blumenberg MA UP ‘90, PhD ‘95, professor of urban planning and director of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, said that she and Wachs decided to collaborate on the winning paper after realizing they had not previously worked together on a research paper. “This topic [...]

By |2020-02-05T14:03:22-08:00January 17th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

ITS helps build student coding, data skills

Have you ever wondered how to track bus locations in real-time? Do you know how transit agencies track where all shared scooters are at any given time? Or how to better analyze crash data in Los Angeles? These are all projects that UCLA Luskin graduate students are working on as a way to increase their data coding and analysis skills. The UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies hosted a four-day data camp for urban planning students this September. The goal of the workshop was to teach students how to use Python, a simple programming language, and related tools to process, analyze, and visualize data that would enhance their transportation planning and policy careers. Students with minimal prior knowledge gained valuable skills, including how to pull, analyze and visualize e-scooter data from LA Metro. The camp was taught by Tim Black MURP ‘14, a former data analyst at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and currently a data scientist at NBC Universal. As an extension of the camp, ITS has continued hosting monthly data hack nights for urban planning students interested in building their proficiency and to give students a space to work on their data projects on an ongoing basis. Juan [...]

By |2020-02-05T14:04:13-08:00December 13th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Why Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors — and what does that mean?

With the recent passage of AB 5 in California — which limits companies’ abilities to classify workers as independent contractors — the topic of Uber and Lyft drivers’ employment statuses has been on the minds of many. To shed light on the topic, UC Hastings College of Law associate professor Veena Dubal came to UCLA Nov. 18 to discuss how taxi drivers, and later Uber and Lyft drivers, came to hold the classification of independent contractors. Dubal’s talk is part of a six-part lecture series by UCLA ITS. Dubal provided an overview of how taxi companies encouraged workers to let go of working with unions and classify themselves as independent contractors. The taxi companies presented these arguments under the pretense that taxi drivers could now have more freedom over their earnings and earn more than they had as employees. This campaign was so successful that by the late 1970s almost all taxi drivers were independent contractors. Several decades later, in 2013, when California legalized Uber and Lyft, drivers operated under the same laws taxi companies had put into place earlier: all drivers were still independent contractors, which meant they operated as their own businesses. California was the first state to [...]

By |2020-02-05T14:04:24-08:00November 19th, 2019|Categories: events|

How deciding where to put the port shaped the entire city

Where to situate the port became a decisive moment that impacted the development of Los Angeles, according to Eric Morris, who spoke on the subject Nov. 1. Morris, an associate professor of city and regional planning at Clemson University, gave a lecture that focused on the “Free Harbor Fight,” which involved a legal battle in the late 19th century over where to situate the Los Angeles port. Morris' talk is part of a six-part lecture series by UCLA ITS. Morris began with an overview of the Port of LA, located in San Pedro, and described why the natural conditions of the land were not ideal for a port. Because of these challenges, many notable landowners in LA — including Collis P. Huntington, the owner of Southern Pacific Railway — tried to push for the city to convert Santa Monica into its main port. However, those in favor of keeping the port in San Pedro eventually won. As a result, Santa Monica reinvented itself as a wealthy resort and leisure spot, while San Pedro — and later Long Beach — became increasingly industrial. According to Morris, this decisive moment impacted the entire future of LA’s development. LA’s wealthy westside neighborhoods (Beverly [...]

By |2020-02-05T14:04:34-08:00November 1st, 2019|Categories: events|

Seven UCLA students awarded WTS-LA scholarships

UCLA Luskin urban planning students Maddy Ruvolo (left) and Cassie Halls received the prestigious Myra L. Frank Memorial Graduate Scholarship from WTS-LA. by Lena Rogow Seven UCLA women were honored this year in recognition of their achievements in transportation-related studies. The Los Angeles chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar, or WTS-LA, distributed $100,000 in scholarship funds to women in high school, community college, undergraduate and graduate programs in transportation-related fields. Seven of the 12 higher-education recipients were UCLA students. WTS is an international organization with more than 6,000 members dedicated to building the future of global transportation through the advancement of women. The prestigious Myra L. Frank Memorial Graduate Scholarship honors the legacy of a notable local leader in environmental planning and assessment. Through her firm, Myra L. Frank & Associates, Frank was involved in virtually every major transit project in Los Angeles, including the Downtown People Mover and the Pasadena Gold Line. She was also an active member of WTS-LA, and, following her death, the organization established a scholarship to honor her legacy. Over the years, UCLA students have often been honored with this scholarship, including in 2018, with two UCLA urban planning students receiving the award: Miriam Pinski [...]

By |2020-02-05T14:04:43-08:00October 18th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

ITS awards 10 urban planning capstones for quality work on pressing transportation issues in LA, California

As part of their studies at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, graduate students complete a project on behalf of clients, whereby they define a problem, design and conduct data collection, analyze and contextualize the information, and prepare a written and oral report for their client organization. Students gain experience working as consultants, and clients receive professional-level analysis and recommendations to drive action. Each year, UCLA ITS supports a handful of these student research projects that investigate the pressing issues at the intersection of today’s transportation planning and policy topics. During the 2018-19 academic year, ITS funded 14 graduate capstone projects. Working with clients from across the region, each student investigated a real-world question through their projects, addressing an existing need and adding to research. These capstone projects capture the range of issues — at local, regional, and national levels — at the forefront of transportation planning. Their research will help inform and guide equitable policies and approaches for transportation departments and cities across the LA region. UCLA ITS awarded 10 graduate students for outstanding work on their capstone projects. The winners are: Student Project Client Esteban Doyle The Role of Transportation in School Access: A Case [...]

By |2020-02-05T14:04:54-08:00July 11th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|