UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies
Cutting-Edge Research for the Pressing Transportation Problems of our Time
The UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies supports and advances cutting-edge research, the highest-quality education, and meaningful and influential civic engagement on the many pressing transportation issues facing our cities, state, nation and world today. UCLA ITS scholars are particularly renowned for their work on:
- Access to Opportunities
- New Mobility
- Public Transit
- Sustainable & Resilient Transportation
- Transportation & Communities
- Transportation Finance
Partnering for Progress
UCLA ITS is part of the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies, a four-campus consortium that includes UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UC Irvine. UCLA ITS is also a proud partner in the Pacific Southwest Region 9 University Transportation Center, a federally funded research network with seven other universities. In addition, ITS collaborates regularly with other UCLA researchers through the Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences, the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, the Luskin Center for Innovation and the Smart Grid Energy Research Center, among others.
Educating the Next Generation
The transportation planning program at UCLA has been ranked 2nd in the nation by Planetizen, due in no small part to ITS support of transportation faculty and students. Since its inception in 1992, ITS has supported hundreds of UCLA transportation students with more than $6 million in scholarship funds, which is relatively unique among UCLA research centers. ITS also has enhanced transportation studies at UCLA by regularly funding special topics courses, bringing transportation leaders to campus for lectures, hosting visiting faculty and supporting transportation conferences and events, and sending students to present their work at conferences.
UCLA transportation graduates today hold positions at the highest levels of policy, planning and academia. These graduates have won more national awards from the Council of University Transportation Centers than have students from any other university. In the 2010s alone, three UCLA ITS transportation graduates won the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning award for best PhD dissertation in the entire field of planning.
UCLA ITS faculty have revolutionized the transportation field.
- Distinguished Professor Emeritus Donald Shoup has single-handedly altered how local officials think about parking management.
- Distinguished Professor Emeritus Martin Wachs pioneered the study of both transportation needs of the elderly, as well as ethics in transportation planning.
- Professor Evelyn Blumenberg was named a “Champion of Change” by the Obama Administration for her pioneering work on the travel patterns and needs of the poor and immigrants.
- Professor and ITS Director Brian Taylor was named a Top 10 Transportation Thought Leader by the Council of University Transportation Centers and the Eno Transportation Center for his work on transportation finance and decision-making.
Moving The Needle on Policy and Practice
UCLA ITS aims to translate cutting-edge research into best practices in transportation.
Since 1991, UCLA ITS has convened the annual UCLA Lake Arrowhead Symposium on Transportation – Land Use – Environment, which brings together leading scholars with top policy and planning practitioners from around the globe for a three-day retreat in the San Bernardino Mountains. The symposium dives into pressing transportation issues — such as traffic, climate change, new technology, and equity — by focusing on both causes and solutions. And for the past decade, UCLA ITS has also held a Downtown Forum to connect the work of ITS to the world of practice.
Welcome to UCLA, and to the Institute of Transportation Studies.