METRANS Research

METRANS research is aimed at solving transportation problems of large metropolitan areas.  Our approach is multidisciplinary, blending engineering with the social sciences in order to develop solutions that both work and can be implemented.  We focus on independent, high quality research that contributes to knowledge.  At the same time, we seek to inform transportation policy and decision-making.
METRANS research is organized around its centers and focuses in three topical areas:
  • Integrated management of freight and passenger systems:  Modes and users within large metro areas are interdependent, and therefore solving metropolitan transportation problems requires a holistic, systems perspective. The challenge is to achieve efficient and sustainable urban transportation.  This research theme focuses on making the best use of new or existing capacity of the entire system.  Examples include coordinated scheduling of freight and passenger rail, or jointly managing highways, arterials and transit services.
  • Sustainable and efficient urban freight transportation: Urban freight contributes to congestion, competes with passengers for scarce road and rail space, and negatively affects the livability of metropolitan areas. This research theme seeks to develop a better understanding of urban freight problems and develop effective, sustainable, and implementable strategies for solving them. 
  • Urban mobility:  Large metropolitan areas have the highest levels of congestion, the largest concentration of transit dependent and disadvantaged populations, and the most heavily utilized public transport systems.  This research theme is aimed at increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of passenger transportation by better understanding intra-metropolitan spatial and travel patterns, developing new passenger transportation markets, and improving mobility and accessibility for disadvantaged populations.