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Spring Speaker Series: Antoine Courmont on big data, Waze, and local governance

ITS and Global Public Affairs at UCLA Luskin co-hosted a lecture by Antoine Cormount, cities and digital technology chair at the Sciences Po in Paris, as part of the spring transportation speaker series. Courmont’s discussion, “Big Data and Re-composition of Urban Governance in the Digital Era: The Case of the Waze App,” focused primarily on the potential for conflict between public and private goals when firms and governments use different data sets.

Watch the full presentation:

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By |2018-12-06T13:57:27+00:00April 18th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Spring Speaker Series: Urbanist Gil Penalosa on public spaces and sustainable mobility

The ITS spring speaker series kicked off with one of the world’s most influential urbanists, Gil Penalosa, an advocate for public spaces and sustainable mobility. Cities must meet the challenges of the 21st century through public policy and design that improves the quality of life for all residents, Penalosa argued. “We need to decide how we want to live,” he told a large crowd of Luskin School students, staff, faculty and community partners. Penalosa, a graduate of the MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School, is the founder and chair of 8 80 Cities, a nonprofit organization based in Toronto and dedicated to the idea that urban spaces should benefit an 8-year-old or an 80-year-old equally. He also chairs the board of World Urban Parks, an international association in favor of open space and recreation, after getting his start by transforming parks programs as a commissioner in Bogotá. The groundbreaking programs overseen by Penalosa in Colombia included a weekly event to turn city streets into activity centers for walking, biking, and other activities, which has served as a model for CicLAvia in Los Angeles and similar programs worldwide. Penalosa said that after streets turn into “the world’s largest pop-up park,” people begin to think about how much of [...]

By |2018-04-05T08:47:45+00:00April 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Video: Expert panel takes on the gender imbalance of the transportation system

Who designed our transportation system? Who does it work for — and who does it leave out? The gender imbalance of transportation planning — a field traditionally dominated by men who designed a system that caters to men rather than women and families — was the subject of the second installment of the ongoing ITS discussion series Transportation is a Women's Issue on March 7. Policymakers, practitioners, scholars, and students gathered at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Downtown Los Angeles for a panel featuring Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) general manager and ITS advisory board member Seleta Reynolds, LA Metro deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins, and UCLA Luskin urban planning professor and ITS faculty fellow Evelyn Blumenberg, moderated by Investing in Place deputy director Naomi Iwasaki. Watch the full panel: The panelists agreed that the transportation system is fundamentally designed to accommodate the 9-to-5 work schedule traditionally associated with higher-income men. Even as women's participation in the labor market has surged, that system continues to ignore the needs of travelers at off-peak hours and those with complex trip-making patterns, who are much likelier to be women, especially lower-income women. Despite the fact that women and men travel similarly in terms of mode, Dr. Blumenberg said that [...]

By |2018-03-09T13:48:41+00:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

New research briefs: Learning from three green transportation programs in California

There are more cars on California roads than ever before, threatening the state's air quality. And landmark new investments in transit and transportation infrastructure could endanger wildlife habitats and sensitive environments. Researchers with the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies — a network of faculty, students, and staff with branches at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, and here at UCLA — have produced three research briefs to understand how efforts around the state are mitigating the impact of transportation on California's environment. The briefs examine what lessons these programs can offer policymakers. Can Smog Repairs Create Social Justice? The Tune In & Tune Up Smog Repair Program in the San Joaquin Valley Gregory Pierce and Rachel Connolly Pierce, an assistant professor at UCLA Luskin and senior researcher at the Luskin Center for Innovation, and Connolly, a graduate student researcher at the Luskin Center, studied an emission testing and smog repair program aimed at combating environmental injustice in one of the state's most disadvantaged regions (mapped above). In places like the San Joaquin Valley, where the lack of density makes robust public transit options unrealistic, can a smog repair program achieve the emissions reductions necessary to improve air quality and benefit car-dependent, [...]

By |2018-03-07T15:29:45+00:00March 7th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

New report: ITS scholars on the cause of California’s falling transit ridership

Many California communities are banking on more transit use to address problems of congestion and climate change. Yet despite heavy investments in public transportation over the past 15 years, transit ridership is declining — from 2012 to 2016, California lost 62.2 million annual transit rides, and the six-county Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region lost 72 million annual rides, 120 percent of the state's total losses. With such political support and policy stakes invested in transit, why is ridership falling? Three UCLA ITS scholars have authored a new report for SCAG in order to better understand this trend and help inform planners and policymakers on how to address declining ridership. The full report, by assistant professor of urban planning and ITS faculty fellow Michael Manville, professor of urban planning and ITS director Brian D. Taylor, and professor of urban planning and ITS faculty fellow Evelyn Blumenberg, includes several key findings: Increased car ownership can likely explain much of the transit ridership decline in Southern California. Between 2000 and 2015, private vehicle ownership dramatically increased among households in the SCAG region, from 1.7 to 2.4 vehicles per household. During the 1990s, the region grew by 1.8 million people and 456,000 [...]

By |2018-12-05T10:33:17+00:00January 31st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Recent Martin Wachs publications explore funding for critical transportation projects

Two recent publications by UCLA distinguished professor emeritus and ITS faculty fellow Martin Wachs explore a critical question facing the United States: How can we better prioritize and finance our critical transportation projects? Figure 1: Total Federal, State, and Local Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure, as a Share of Gross Domestic Product, 1956-2014 (Credit: RAND Corporation) Professor Wachs co-authored “Not Everything Is Broken: The Future of U.S. Transportation and Water Infrastructure Funding and Finance,” recently released by the RAND Corporation. It paints a national spending picture that, while historically steady (see Figure 1), now faces serious problems including declining revenue for the Highway Trust Fund and increased flooding risk in coastal communities. Wachs highlights the need for the federal government to focus on major investments in renewal of aging infrastructure. In a recent edition of TR News, he explores the first steps in the conceptualization of one such major investments: Replacing the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, the busiest bus terminal in the world. In the article, Wachs outlines a recent design competition for the overcrowded and deteriorating facility. The competition revealed the complexity and challenges of the project, including the need to accommodate [...]

By |2018-01-26T10:30:37+00:00January 26th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

A multimodal guide to the 2018 LA Women’s March

January 21, 2017 was the largest ridership day in LA Metro history thanks to the inaugural Women’s March, which brought an estimated 750,000 people downtown. Faced with various road closures, many participants opted to take Metro to Pershing Square instead of driving  — and dealt with jam-packed trains and long lines at fare vending machines as a result. Organizers are expecting another large turnout for the 2018 march on Saturday, January 20. Based on their experiences getting to the Women’s March last year, will people again pack public transit to DTLA? Or, will we see an increase in traffic congestion as marchers switch to driving, like in the second phase of “Carmageddon?” Be flexible and prepared to use more than one mode for arriving. For many people, taking one of the five Metro rail lines that go to DTLA will continue to be their best option, even with anticipated crowding and delays. Metro has a quick video with a few tips for making your trip by rail a little easier: Buy your TAP card early, load at least $3.50 on your card in advance, and get to your station early. You may find it easier to use rideshare such as [...]

By |2018-01-26T10:32:22+00:00January 19th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

ITS scholars earned top planning honors in 2017

2017 was another rewarding year for ITS scholars. Professor Donald Shoup and former doctoral student Carole Turley Voulgaris both earned top awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools and Planning (ACSP), the highest honors in academic planning. Professor Shoup, an ITS faculty fellow and distinguished research professor of urban planning, received the ACSP Distinguished Educator Award (read his acceptance remarks here). During his tenure of more than 40 years at UCLA, Professor Shoup has built an international reputation as a premiere authority on parking policy, influencing generations of students who have gone on to implement his ideas in cities throughout the United States and the world. He spoke about his esteemed career in a recent UCLA Luskin video: ASCP selects recipients of the Distinguished Educator Award every two years based on their scholarly contributions, teaching excellence, public service, and professional practice. Professor Shoup is the second ITS faculty fellow to win this prestigious award, joining Professor Martin Wachs, who won in 2006 while at UC Berkeley.  Carole Turley Voulgaris, who was recently named an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, won the prestigious Best Dissertation in Planning award for her work on transit ridership [...]

By |2017-12-21T13:59:02+00:00December 21st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|

Video: ITS discussion series addresses #MeToo and public transportation

Struggling to reaching for a strap on a crowded bus. Stepping into a packed train car and looking for a small space of refuge. Waiting by yourself at a dark bus stop. Trying to run household serving errands on a public transit schedule that’s been designed for rush hour. These are all-too-common experiences for women in transit — and illustrate why the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault must influence public transportation procedures, designs, and policies. Kicking off the new ITS lunchtime discussion series "Transportation is a Women's Issue," ITS associate director Madeline Brozen spoke with Dr. Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, a professor of urban planning at the UCLA Luskin School and ITS faculty fellow, about women’s transportation needs, how transit agencies are and are not meeting these needs, and the role of sexual harassment in public space and public transit. Watch the full discussion in the video below, and stay tuned for information about the next installment in the ongoing series.   

By |2017-12-04T16:21:34+00:00December 4th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|