Research is a major focus of UCTC’s activities. UCTC research is framed by a clear research agenda, selected through peer review, structured as one year grants, and awarded to PIs on a one project at a time basis.
Research Agenda: All UCTC research grants are awarded through a process that is framed by our theme of systems analysis and policy and guided by specific research priorities called out from time to time by the Executive Committee, our sponsors, and our advisory board.
UCTC’s program of research is conducted by University of California faculty and graduate student assistants.
Research grants are awarded through a competitive process that relies on outside peer review, with reviewers drawn from other universities, the private sector, nonprofit organizations, and federal, state, regional and local agencies.
We support a mixed portfolio of research on transportation policy and systems analysis. Reflecting our funding through federal and state surface transportation programs, we focus on surface transportation in the US, but we will support work on water and air transport and on international comparisons when it is clearly relevant to domestic surface transportation issues.
Specific topics cover the full spectrum from theory and methods through data, design, planning, and policy development, to implementation and post-implementation evaluation.
UCTC’s work is broadly multidisciplinary and its researchers are drawn from civil and environmental engineering, urban and regional planning, economics, business administration and management, operations research, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy and resources, environmental sciences, public health, geography, political science, sociology, history, and public policy.
Recent years' areas of research addressed topics such as an examination of tax laws for possible subsidies to driving, air quality effects of port activities, bicycle-transit integration, accessbility in urban environments,
UCTC aims to put its research findings into practice, and our results are disseminated to other academics, practitioners and policymakers through publications, conferences, workshops, expert testimony, news media, and more. Currently over 800 working papers, research reports, journal article reprints, books, book chapters, and films stemming from UCTC-funded research are available. In addition, UCTC publishes ACCESS magazine twice a year; we mail out over 20,000 hard copies, and over 30,000 electronic copies are downloaded each edition. UCTC faculty members also serve on transportation research committees and program and project advisory boards, offer technical assistance to public and private transportation organizations, testify before Congress and state legislatures, and work with private sector firms to further disseminate our research results.